BOSTON – A Massachusettes man is facing charges after federal officials said he tried to open a plane’s emergency exit door mid-flight.
Francisco Severo Torres, 33, was arrested for allegedly trying to open an emergency exit door on a United Airlines flight Sunday from Los Angeles to Boston. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusettes said Torres then tried to stab a flight attendant in the neck
The flight crew was notified of an alarm in the cockpit that told them a side door on the aircraft had been disarmed prior to landing, WFXT reported.
A flight attendant said she saw Torres by the door and thought that he was tampering with it. When Torres was confronted by the crew, he reportedly asked them if there were cameras. Crew members immediately reported the incident to the captain. According to WFXT, the crew members believed that Torres posed a threat and that the aircraft needed to land.
Soon after the crew reported the threat, Torres got out of his seat and went towards the side door. The news outlet reported that two flight attendants were standing in the aisle by the side door and Torres allegedly tried to stab one of them with a broken metal spoon, striking her neck several times.
Passengers on the plane along with flight crew members tackled Torres and were able to restrain him, according to WFXT. Once the plane arrived in Boston, Torres was taken into custody.
“It is alleged that during subsequent interviews, passengers who were aboard the flight reported that Torres asked a fellow passenger where on the safety card it showed where the door handle was located during the flight attendants’ safety briefing prior to takeoff and that Torres was seen pacing in a galley before attacking the flight attendant,” the United States Attorney’s office said in a news release.
Torres was charged with interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon, federal officials said.
If convicted, Torres could face up to life in prison, up to five years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine, according to the United States Attorney’s office.
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