Cellphone video shows a passenger on a United Airlines flight threatening to “kill every man on this plane” before allegedly attacking a flight attendant with a broken metal spoon.
In the footage, 33-year-old Francisco Severo Torres screams from his seat during a flight from Los Angeles to Boston. He then stands up, walks towards the crew members, and is seen winking at a flight attendant. It is seen in the footage that several passengers ran to him to intervene.
Lisa Olsen, who filmed the video, told NBC Boston that Torres seemed “obviously upset” and threatened that there was going to be “bloodshed”.
She applauded fellow passengers for holding and holding Torres down with zip ties and belts until the plane landed.
“So many, many people on that plane just got up and you know, went right after it,” she said.
The incident began when Torres tried to open an emergency exit door during the weekend flight, the Massachusetts US Attorney’s Office said. Crew members said that about 45 minutes into the flight, they were alerted that the “starboard side door” had been disarmed. A flight attendant inspected the door and noticed that the handle had been moved to the unlocked position.
The attendant took over and informed the other crew members. Federal authorities said the crew noted that Torres was near the door and “talked to Torres about tampering with the door, to which he allegedly replied whether the cameras showed he did so.” “
The prosecutor’s office said Torres later approached the same door, which was being guarded by two flight attendants, and allegedly thrust at one “in a stabbing motion with a broken metal spoon”. .
The office said the flight attendant was hit three times in the neck.
Torres reportedly said he believed “the flight attendant was trying to kill him, so he tried to kill the first attendant,” according to a criminal complaint.
He was charged with counts of interference and attempting to interfere with flight crew members and attendants by using a dangerous weapon.
It is unclear whether Torres, of Leominster, Massachusetts, has an attorney.
Torres is scheduled to appear in federal court on Thursday. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
United Airlines said in a statement that it has “zero tolerance for violence of any kind on our flights” and banned Torres from flying pending the outcome of the investigation.
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