Flier tried to open door, stabbed attendant, prosecutors say

A man attempted to open an emergency exit door and stab a flight attendant with a broken spoon on a Los Angeles-Boston flight on Sunday, prosecutors said.

Francisco Severo Torres, 33, was arrested at Boston Logan International Airport on Sunday, the Justice Department 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.

The alleged incident happened on United Airline Flight 2609, which departed from Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday morning.

About 45 minutes before landing in Boston, the flight crew was notified that one of the plane’s doors had been disarmed, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Massachusetts.

The starboard side door latch handle had been moved out of the locked position and an emergency slide cocking lever had been moved to the “uncocked” position, prosecutors said.

Torres was seen around the door, prosecutors said, and a flight attendant confronted him. Torres asked the flight attendant if a camera caught him tampering with the door, according to the complaint.

Next, Torres rose from his seat and “walked over to one of the flight attendants in a stabbing motion.” He punched the attendant in the neck three times, prosecutors said.

The passengers attacked Torres and helped restrain him. “Torres was immediately taken into custody upon the flight’s arrival in 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 he disarmed the door.

He told police he came up with the idea of ​​jumping from the plane and acknowledged that many people would die if he opened the plane door, according to the complaint.

A message left for Torres’ public defender was not immediately returned.

United, in a statement on Monday, praised “the prompt action of our crew and customers” and said the company was working with law enforcement.

“No serious injuries were reported,” the statement said. “We have zero tolerance for any type of violence on our flights, and this customer will be banned from flying United pending an investigation.”

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