BOSTON (WPRI) — A Massachusetts man was arrested Sunday night after he reportedly tried to open an emergency door while aboard a United Airlines flight before attempting to stab an attendant in the neck, according to United States Attorney Rachael Rollins.
Francisco Severo Torres, 33, of Leominster, was taken into custody shortly after the plane landed at Boston Logan International Airport.
Torres was a passenger on a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston, according to prosecutors.
Rollins said that, approximately 45 minutes prior to landing, the cockpit received an alert notifying them that one of the side doors had been disarmed.
Upon inspection, prosecutors said a flight attendant noticed the door’s locking handle had been moved out of the fully locked position, and that emergency slide arming level had been disabled.
The flight attendant re-secured the door and told the cockpit that it appeared it had been tampered with, according to Rollins.
Prosecutors said another flight attendant reported seeing Torres near the door right before the cockpit received the alert.
When one of the flight attendants confronted Torres about it, he reportedly asked if there were cameras on the plane that could prove he had done so.
Rollins said the flight attendant then told the cockpit that Torres posed a threat to the plane and the captain needed to land as soon as possible.
Shortly after, Torres reportedly got out of his seat and walked toward the emergency door where two flight attendants were standing in the aisle. Rollins said Torres then thrust toward one of the attendants with a broken metal spoon.
Torres didn’t actually stab the attendant, according to prosecutors, but did hit their neck three times with the makeshift weapon.
Rollins said passengers immediately tackled Torres and restrained him with the assistance of other attendants.
Passengers aboard the flight later told detectives that Torres had asked where the door handle was on the safety card prior to takeoff, and that he was seen pacing moments before attacking the attendant.
Torres has been charged with interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon. He is being held pending his next court date, which is scheduled for March 9.