Man faces life sentence after allegedly trying to stab flight attendant, open emergency door mid-flight

News & Politics

A federal jury has reportedly indicted a man from Massachusetts on charges related to an incident that took place on a United Airlines flight in March. The man has been accused of attempting to stab a flight attendant with a broken spoon.

Francisco Severo Torres, 33, was indicted in a Boston federal court on Wednesday. He faces a single count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants by using a dangerous weapon, according to WNCT.

Torres was arrested at Boston Logan International Airport on March 6 after he apparently attempted to open an emergency exit door while on a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston. He has also been accused of trying to use a broken spoon to stab a flight attendant.

The prosecutors in the case reportedly said that the flight crew was notified of one of the plane doors being disarmed less than an hour before landing in Boston. A flight attendant noted that they spotted Torres near the door and believed that he was the one responsible, per the report.

When he was asked about allegedly tampering with the emergency exit door, Torres responded by asking if there was video evidence that he had done so, according to a press release by the United States Attorney’s Office of the District of Massachusetts.

Torres allegedly became disgruntled after the incident, saying that he had planned to “kill every man on this plane” before reportedly declaring that he was “taking over this plane,” per the press release.

WNCT reported court documents indicated that Torres attempted to stab a flight attendant “on the neck area three times” with a broken spoon. A witness said Torres was tackled to the floor of the plane by a number of other passengers.

“As he was running down the aisle, 10 to 15 men on the plane just got up and started chasing him,” Lisa Olsen said. “[The men] tackled him and restrained him … It took four guys to just sit on him since he was still erratic and screaming.”

The members of the flight crew subsequently further subdued the suspect. Torres was reportedly arrested after the flight landed in Boston.

If Torres is found guilty of the charges, he could potentially face a life sentence in prison, up to five years of supervised release, and a massive fine of up to $250,000.

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