Listen to this article Authorities Detain Man For Attempted Stabbing Of Flight Attendant And Opening Emergency Exit Mid-Flight
Chaos erupted on a United Airlines flight on Sunday, March 6th, when a man attempted to open an emergency exit mid-air and allegedly stabbed a flight attendant. The incident occurred on a flight from Los Angeles to Boston, and it resulted in the man’s arrest upon landing. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged the suspect, Francisco Severo Torres, with one count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon.
The Attempted Emergency Exit
About 45 minutes before landing in Boston, Torres tried to open the airplane’s emergency escape door. Flight attendants were alerted to the exit door by an alarm in the cockpit, and they discovered that someone had tampered with the locking handle. One staff member reported seeing Torres touch the door during the flight. Another passenger claimed that Torres had asked them to locate the emergency exit door handle on a safety card during the pre-takeoff safety briefing.
Confrontation with Flight Staff
When confronted by the flight staff about tampering with the exit door, Torres reportedly asked if there were any security cameras showing that he had tampered with the lock mechanism. The flight attendant then notified the pilot that they believed Torres posed a threat to the aircraft.
The Stabbing Incident
Shortly after the confrontation, Torres stood up from his seat and approached two flight attendants standing in the aisle. According to the U.S. justice department, Torres “thrust” towards one of the flight attendants with a “stabbing motion” using a broken metal spoon. The attacker allegedly “hit” the flight attendant in the neck area three times. Passengers and other flight crew members tackled and restrained Torres.
No Serious Injuries
Thankfully, the incident did not result in any serious injuries to any passengers or crew members on board the flight.The United Airlines flight crew for their response. “Violence has no place anywhere and certainly not in a closed cabin flying several miles in the air,” the statement said. “When incidents like this happen, it not only risks the safety of the crew involved, it takes away from Flight Attendants’ ability to respond to medical, safety, or security emergencies. Bottom line: it puts everyone at risk, and there’s zero tolerance for that.”
As soon as the flight landed at Boston Logan International Airport, law enforcement officers swiftly took Torres into custody. Consequently, Torres is scheduled to appear in court on March 9th, where he will face charges that carry a possible life prison sentence, up to five years of supervised release, and a maximum fine of US$250,000.