Passenger tackled after allegedly trying to stab flight attendant
A man was arrested and charged after allegedly trying to open an emergency exit door and stab a flight attendant on a United Airlines flight.
The FBI is investigating reports of the terrifying mid-air attack during a flight from Los Angeles to Boston.
Video obtained shows the 33-year-old suspect, Francisco Severo Torres, yelling from a seat near the emergency exit, which investigators said he allegedly tried to open.
“I’m taking over this plane,” the suspect could be heard saying.
The suspect was also seen rushing down the aisle, holding a metal spoon, which investigators said he turned into a weapon while in the bathroom.
Forty-five minutes before landing, the suspect got into a confrontation with flight attendants, allegedly attempting to stab one of them in the neck three times with the spoon. But, thankfully, he only hit the shirt collar and tie.
“Every door and every hatch is held in place by thousands of pounds of pressure. So, you can’t get those open. By the same token, anybody fooling around with that mechanism is trying to endanger the entire aircraft,” said Aviation Analyst John Nance.
One witness told reporters that the suspect started screaming after he saw a passenger filming him.
About five people jumped and tackled the suspect, saying they pulled the broken spoon out of his hand. The group of passengers and flight attendants held him down, using zip ties to restrain him.
FBI agents boarded the plane as soon as it landed, taking Torres into custody.
“All flight attendants are given a certain amount of training on self-defense, but that should not be in their job description to have to have mortal combat with somebody on the back. That is totally unacceptable,” Nance said.
United Airlines thanked their crew and customers for their quick action.