A man has been arrested and charged for allegedly attempting to open an emergency exit door while aboard a United Airlines flight on March 5, 2023 and then attempting to stab a flight attendant in the neck with a spoon.
According to the US Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts, flight UA 2609 from Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS), was 45 minutes away from landing at BOS airport when the flight crew received an alarm in the cockpit that a starboard side door located between the first class and economy section of the aircraft had been disarmed.
A flight attendant reported that he had observed a passenger, Francisco Severo Torres, 33, near the door and believed Torres had tampered with the emergency slide arming lever. The flight attendant then confronted Torres, who allegedly responded by asking if there were cameras showing that he had tampered with the door.
According to court documents, the flight attendant then notified the flight’s captain that he believed Torres posed a threat to the aircraft and that the captain needed to land the aircraft as soon as possible.
Shortly thereafter, Torres got out of his seat and approached the door where two flight attendants were standing in the aisle. One of the flight attendants saw Torres mouthing something that he could not hear. Torres then allegedly thrust towards one of the flight attendants in a stabbing motion with a broken metal spoon, hitting the flight attendant on the neck area three times.
Passengers then tackled Torres and he was restrained with the assistance of flight crew. Torres was immediately taken into custody when the flight arrived in Boston.
Video footage of the incident was taken by one of the flight’s passengers and reposted on Twitter by several media outlets. .
“We have zero tolerance for any type of violence on our flights, and this customer will be banned from flying on United pending an investigation,” United Airlines said in a statement seen by Reuters.
“We are cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation,” the statement continued.
Torres was charged with one count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon. Torres was arrested on March 6, 2023, at BOS airport and is detained pending a hearing set for March 9, 2023.