Man tried to open plane door, stab attendant on L.A.-to-Boston flight, prosecutors say
A man tried to open an emergency exit door and stab a flight attendant with a broken spoon on a Los Angeles-to-Boston flight Sunday, prosecutors said.
Francisco Severo Torres, 33, was arrested Sunday at Boston Logan International Airport, the Department of Justice said in a statement Monday.
Torres, of Leominster, Mass., was charged with one count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon.
Two 17-year-olds were rescued by helicopter near Mt. San Gorgonio as they attempted a 10-day trip. The winter weather has forced multiple rescues throughout the region.
The alleged incident took place on United Airline Flight 2609, which left Sunday morning from Los Angeles International Airport.
About 45 minutes before landing in Boston, flight crew were notified that one of the plane’s door was disarmed, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Massachusetts on Monday.
The starboard side door’s locking handle had been moved out of the locked position, and an emergency slide arming lever had been moved to the “disarmed” position, according to prosecutors.
Torres was seen around the door, prosecutors said, and a flight attendant confronted him. Torres asked the flight attendant if a camera had captured him tampering with the door, according to the complaint.
Then, Torres got out of his seat, and “thrust towards one of the flight attendants in a stabbing motion.” He hit the attendant on the neck three times, prosecutors said.
Passengers tackled Torres and helped restrain him. “Torres was immediately taken into custody upon the flight’s arrival to Boston,” prosecutors said.
In an interview with police, Torres said he went into the bathroom and broke a spoon in half to make a weapon, according to the complaint. He also said that he disarmed the door.
He told police he had the idea of jumping out of the plane and acknowledged that many people would die if he opened the plane door, according to the complaint.
A man has been charged with bombing two Pacific Gas & Electric transformers in San Jose, including one in front of a Macy’s store at a mall.
A message left for Torres’ public defender wasn’t immediately returned.
United, in a statement Monday, praised the “quick action of our crew and customers” and said the company was working with law enforcement.
“No serious injuries were reported,” the statement read. “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.”
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.