A Passenger Allegedly Tried To Stab A Flight Attendant & Said He's 'Taking Over' The Plane (VIDEO)
A metal spoon was involved.
A Massachusetts man is facing multiple charges after a tense incident on recent United Airlines flight, where he's accused of trying to stab a flight attendant and attempting to open the exit door in the air.
The incident happened Sunday on a flight from Los Angeles to Boston, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a news release.
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Witness video shows the suspect going on a rant about killing other passengers and potentially hijacking the flight during the ordeal that ultimately ended with his arrest.
"He was just starting to ramble, saying that he was going to kill people on the flight, that his father was Dracula," passenger Lisa J. Olsen told the Boston Globe. "He just started rambling about the Nazis and all kinds of stuff."
Olsen also shared her footage of the suspect with a handful of news outlets, in which he can be heard threatening to kill "every man on this plane."
He then declares, "I'm taking over this plane," and heads down the aisle, where he can be seen tangling with flight attendants and other passengers.
\u201cThis video shot by a fellow passenger shows a Massachusetts man being subdued after his violent outburst on a Boston-bound United flight. https://t.co/giAarNd91A\u201d— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB-TV Boston) 1678159807
Francisco Severo Torres, 33, has been charged with interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon, authorities said.
Court documents say that the chaos started about 45 minutes before landing, when the suspect allegedly started messing around with the handle on one of the emergency doors on the flight. Crew members responded to an alarm and found the handle had been moved.
One flight attendant told the others that they'd seen a passenger fiddling with the door, but when they confronted him, he denied it, "asking if there were cameras showing that he had done so."
The flight crew then reported the incident to the captain and recommended they land the plane because the passenger posed a threat.
Court documents allege that Torres eventually got out of his seat and approached two flight attendants, then made a "stabbing motion" at one of them with a "broken metal spoon," hitting the flight attendant in the neck three times.
"Passengers then tackled Torres and he was restrained with the assistance of flight crew," reads the DOJ release.
Olsen told NBC Boston that "so many men" helped subdue the suspect, and they used their belts to tie him up until police could arrive after landing.
The news release doesn't mention the violent comments captured on video by Olsen, although her video does seem to capture the alleged stabbing.
Airlines have taken plenty of steps to make sure that passengers cannot bring weapons aboard since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, so an incident like this is unusual.
The suspect told investigators that he snuck a metal spoon into the bathroom and then broke it off to make his weapon, according to a criminal complaint obtained by CNN. He also allegedly told them that he had "gotten the idea" to jump out of the plane, and that he attacked the flight attendants because he thought they were trying to kill him.
The flight attendant who was hit by the spoon said it struck his shirt collar and his tie, according to the complaint.
No serious injuries were reported, and the plane ultimately landed at its destination in Boston.
United Airlines told CNN that Torres has been banned from future flights. The airline also thanked its crew and passengers for subduing the suspect before he could do harm.
Torres faces a potential sentence of life in prison, up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted on the charges, the DOJ says.
The charges haven't been tried in court at this point.
Torres is due in court on Thursday, NBC Boston reports.
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