CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — The Massachusetts man accused of trying to open an emergency door and attempting to stab an attendant on a United Airlines flight over the weekend is being held at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, according to a prison spokesperson.
Francisco Severo Torres, 32, of Leominster, was arrested Sunday night at Boston Logan International Airport after he allegedly tampered with an emergency door and attacked a flight attendant shortly before the plane was scheduled to land.
Torres is charged with interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon. If convicted on these federal charges, he faces a sentence of up to life in prison, up to five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.
The United Airlines incident wasn’t Torres’ first brush with the law.
Leominster Police Chief Aaron Kennedy said officers responded to Freshcuts Barbershop following reports that a man had walked in and started “acting in a bizarre manner.”
In a police report obtained by 12 News, witnesses claimed the man, later identified as Torres, kept his hands inside his pockets and told everyone he was “half angel and half devil.” Kennedy said Torres also claimed “groups of people” were after him “with AR-15s.”
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The report states that Torres left shortly after a barbershop employee approached him and asked if he wanted a haircut.
Carlos Mejia, the owner of the barbershop, told 12 News that Torres kept repeating he had an AR-15 in his car and that he wanted someone to shoot him “because he had to die before midnight.”
Mejia said employees locked the doors to the barbershop after he left and called the police. Officers were unable to find Torres and no charges were filed.
Mejia told 12 News he immediately recognized Torres when he saw a video from the United Airlines flight, as did the officers who reviewed surveillance footage from the barbershop incident.
Torres was also arrested in 2017 for assaulting his mother after he grabbed her wrist to take her car keys, according to court documents obtained by 12 News. The assault charge was later dropped at his mother’s request.
Court documents reveal that Torres wrote in a letter to a judge in 2017 that he was being watched and asked: “How do I get a restraining order against thousands of people?”
He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a bail hearing.
Adriana Rozas Rivera contributed to this report.