Mass. man charged with trying to stab a flight attendant, open a door mid-flight

A Leominster man faces criminal charges after prosecutors say he tried to stab a flight attendant with a broken spoon and open an emergency door during a flight from Los Angeles to Boston.

Francisco Severo Torres, 33, was arrested at Logan Airport Sunday night. Standing before a federal judge on Monday, he was charged with "interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon."

According to the Department of Justice, Torres was on a United Airlines flight heading from Los Angeles to Boston on Sunday. During the flight, the cockpit crew saw that an emergency exit alarm had gone off and alerted the cabin team. When a flight attendant checked the door, the latch was a quarter of the way to the open position. The attendant secured the door and went to confer with other members of the crew.

That's when a second flight attendant reporting seeing Torres near the door, according to the DOJ.

"A flight attendant then confronted Torres about tampering with the door, to which he allegedly responded by asking if there were cameras showing that he had done so," the department said in a statement.

At that point, according to the court filing, the cabin crew told the pilot they believed Torres was a danger to the flight and they needed to land immediately.

Shortly after that, Torres reportedly got out of his seat again and walked toward an emergency door, near to where crew members were talking. A flight attendant said he was muttering something but could not hear him.

"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," according to the DOJ.

A number of passengers then jumped up to tackle and help subdue Torres, according to the department. He was arrested when the plane landed in Boston.

A judge ordered that Torres remain detained until his next court appearance on Thursday. According to the DOJ, the most serious charges Torres faces carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

It was not immediately clear who represented Torres in court.

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Roberto Scalese Senior Editor, Digital
Roberto Scalese is a senior editor for digital.



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