'They’re Going To Have To Shoot Me Down!' Man Accused Of Stabbing Flight Attendant On Boston-Bound Flight

man open door stab flight attendant boston
Source: Massachusetts State Police; Unsplash

Mar. 8 2023, Updated 4:18 p.m. ET

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A United Airlines passenger is accused of attempting to open the emergency exit door and trying to stab a flight attendant during a flight from Los Angeles to Boston, according to authorities.

On March 5, officials said a cockpit alarm went off around 45 minutes before the flight was to land in Boston, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said.

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A flight attendant went to investigate and saw the door’s “locking handle had been moved out of the fully locked position,” officials said.

The flight attendant took the handle out of the “disarmed” position and secured an emergency slide before notifying the plane's captain and rest of the crew, authorities said.

Francisco Severo Torres, 33, was reportedly seen near the door and crew believed he had “tampered with the door,” according to authorities.

The flight attendant asked Torres about the situation, but he reportedly wanted to know if he was caught on security camera doing anything, officials said.

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The flight attendant notified the captain Torres could be a threat to the flight and they “needed to land the aircraft as soon as possible,” officials said.

Before landing, Torres allegedly got up from his seat and walked toward two flight attendants. He then “thrust towards one of the flight attendants in a stabbing motion with a broken metal spoon, hitting the flight attendant on the neck area three times,” according to officials.

When later speaking with investigators, Torres allegedly said he broke a spoon in half in the restroom to create a makeshift weapon, WCVB-TV reported.


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Passengers and crew members from the flight were able to tackle and restrain Torres during the alleged attack and he was taken into custody once the flight landed in Boston, officials said.

WCVB-TV shared a video of Torres having an outburst sometime during the flight. In the video, Torres says, "So where's the Homeland Security with the gun? Because I'm waiting for them to point the gun at me, so I can show everybody that I won't die when I take every bullet in that clip to wherever in my body they shoot it, and then I will kill every man on this plane! So where are they?! ... You don't have Homeland Security. You're not going to try and stop me? So you're all cowards?"

He added, “Well, tell them to bring SWAT to shoot me down because they’re going to have to shoot me down today.”

The rant continued with Torres shouting, "Where are they diverting us? Because wherever it is, it's going to be a bloodbath everywhere. You can run away. You can all run away if you want! If you're men, you can run, I won't kill you! ... You can just put up your hands and say: 'Don't kill me.' Or don't approach me."

Torres is then seen in the video getting out of his seat and walking out into the aisle and pulling out the spoon from his jacket and saying, “Since I’m taking over this plane,” according to WCVB-TV.

Torres was arrested and charged with interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon.

He faces up to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted of the charges against him.


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