Francisco Severo Torres, 33, a Massachusetts man, has been charged with trying to open an emergency exit and assaulting a flight attendant on a United Airlines flight between Los Angeles and Boston. Authorities charged him with one charge of interference and attempted interference with a dangerous weapon against flight crew members and crew. The District of Massachusetts United States Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the Massachusetts State Police and the Boston Police Commissioner announced Torres’s arrest on March 6. press release.
The incident reportedly started when the flight crew received an alarm warning for a disabled side door. A flight attendant checked and found that someone had moved the door lock lever and disengaged the emergency slide engagement lever. Another servant reported Torres pacing in a galley and tampering with the door. The incident also involved Torres allegedly stabbing a flight attendant with a broken metal spoon, eventually hitting the flight attendant in the neck before passengers tackled him and – along with the flight crew – restrained him.
Before flight attendants began their usual pre-take-off briefing, Torres reportedly asked another passenger to point out the position of the door handle on the safety card.
Torres was arrested after landing at Logan International Airport in Boston. If convicted of the charges against him, he could face five years of supervised release to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.