BOSTON (WWLP) – A federal grand jury has indicted a Massachusetts man on charges stemming from an in-flight incident in March, during which he was accused of trying to stab a flight attendant with a broken spoon.
Francisco Severo Torres, of Leominster, was indicted in a Boston federal court on Wednesday. He faces one count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon.
The 33-year-old was arrested at Boston Logan International Airport on March 6 after he allegedly tried to open an emergency exit door while aboard a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston. He is also accused of attempting to stab a flight attendant in the neck.
Prosecutors say the flight crew became aware of the plane door becoming disarmed about 45 minutes prior to landing in Boston. Another flight attendant reported seeing Torres near the door, and believed he had been the one tampering with the handle.
When asked about the door, Torres “allegedly responded by asking if there were cameras showing that he had done so,” according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
The suspect later became disruptive and said he planned to “kill every man on this plane” before declaring he was “taking over this plane,” according to the release.
Video previously shared with Nexstar’s WPRI allegedly shows the suspect racing down the aisle toward a small group of people. He then appears to assault one of those people.
Court documents indicate Torres attempted to stab a flight attendant “on the neck area three times” with a broken spoon. A witness told WPRI the suspect was then tackled by a bunch of other passengers.
“As he was running down the aisle, 10 to 15 men on the plane just got up and started chasing him,” Lisa Olsen said. “[The men] tackled him and restrained him … It took four guys to just sit on him since he was still erratic and screaming.”
Members of the flight crew further subdued the suspect afterward, she said. He was arrested upon the flight’s arrival in Boston, according to court documents.
If found guilty, Torres could face a sentence of up to life in prison, up to five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.