Massachusetts man Francisco Severo Torres, 33, has been charged with trying to open an emergency exit door and attacking a flight attendant while on a United Airlines flight between Los Angeles and Boston. Authorities charged him with one count of interfering and attempted interference using a dangerous weapon against flight crew members and attendants. The District of Massachusetts United States Attorney’s Office, the FBI, Massachusetts State Police, and the Boston Police Commissioner announced Torres’s arrest in a March 6 press release.
The incident reportedly began when the flight crew received an alarm warning of a disarmed side door. A flight attendant checked and discovered that someone had moved the door’s locking handle and disarmed the emergency slide arming lever. Another attendant reported that Torres was pacing in a galley area and tampering with the door. The incident also involved Torres allegedly making stabbing motions toward a flight attendant with a broken metal spoon, ultimately striking the attendant in the neck before passengers tackled him and — along with the flight crew — restrained him.
Before flight attendants launched into their usual pre-takeoff briefing, Torres had allegedly asked another passenger to point out the door handle’s position on the safety card.
Torres was arrested after landing at Boston‘s Logan International Airport. If convicted of the charges against him, he could face anywhere from five years of supervised release to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.