Passenger arrested for trying to open plane’s emergency exit

A United Airlines jetliner taxis to a runway for takeoff from Denver International Airport, Dec. 27, 2022.

(NewsNation) — A man has been arrested after attempting to stab a flight attendant and open the emergency exit door on a cross-country flight.

Francisco Severo Torres, 33, was arrested at Boston Logan International airport after the incident, which took place on board a United flight from Los Angeles to Boston.

Court documents claim Torres tampered with an emergency exit door. Flight attendants responded to an alarm about 45 minutes before the plane was scheduled to land and found the handle for an emergency exit had been moved out of the fully locked position and an emergency slide lever had been disarmed.

The flight crew secured the door and reported the incident to the captains.

A flight attendant who saw Torres near the door and believed he was responsible for tampering with it told the pilot they believed he was a threat to the aircraft and needed to land as soon as possible.

Shortly afterward, Torres approached two flight attendants holding a metal spoon and made “stabbing motions” toward one of them, hitting the attendant in the neck three times. He was then restrained by the flight crew, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts.

“It is alleged that during subsequent interviews, passengers who were aboard the flight reported that Torres asked a fellow passenger where on the safety card it showed where the door handle was located during the flight attendants’ safety briefing prior to takeoff and that Torres was seen pacing in a galley before attacking the flight attendant,” the press release continued.

Torres is being charged with interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon, which could result in a sentence of life in prison.


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