An unhinged, violent passenger on a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston attempted to open an emergency exit, threatened to kill all the men on board, and stabbed a male flight attendant three times in the neck with a broken spoon before getting dog-piled by passengers and crew.
(Video Credit: ABC7)
A passenger caught terrifying footage of Francisco Severo Torres, 33, losing it and threatening to “kill every man on this plane.”
Torres is from Leominster, Massachusetts. He is now facing one count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members using a dangerous weapon. If convicted, he could get life in prison. He could also get up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000, according to the Daily Mail.
The man started his rant from his seat. Wild-eyed, he stood, still raging, and moved into the aisle, shouting at passengers around him, as seen in video. He made threatening gestures with his arm and wielded a broken spoon as a weapon. Then he swiftly moved to the front of the plane, attacking the male flight attendant.
That happened after Torres had already allegedly attempted to disarm the emergency exit and tried to open it about 45 minutes before the plane was due to land. The mechanism was turned a quarter of the way to opening mid-flight. He reportedly asked another passenger where on the safety card he could find the door handle during the safety briefing.
#BREAKING: #FBI Boston, with assistance from @MassStatePolice, have arrested Francisco Severo Torres, of Leominster, MA, for attempting to open an emergency exit door aboard a flight to Boston & for attempting to stab a flight attendant in the neck. https://t.co/BhZsX4AcLW
— FBI Boston (@FBIBoston) March 6, 2023
“So where’s Homeland Security with a gun? Because I am waiting for them to point the gun at me so I can show everybody that I will die when I take every bullet in that clip – and I will kill every man on this plane,” Torres vowed. “So where are they? Where’s Homeland Security? Pull the gun! Pull the gun! You’re not going to try and stop me?”
“I don’t care if I’m scaring you. I don’t care. I don’t care. The women will be fine. Sit back down,” Torres instructed a flight attendant. “Why are you scared? … Well, tell them to bring SWAT to shoot me down because they’re going to have to shoot me down today. Remember that.”
“Where are they diverting us? Because wherever they do, there’s going to be a bloodbath everywhere. You can run away if you want. I won’t kill you. I’m Balthazar. Or put up your hands, because I’m Balthazar… since I’m taking over this plane,” he insanely ranted.
His claim made no rational sense since Balthazar was one of the three wise men in the Bible who visited the infant Jesus.
When Torres went for the cockpit, he reportedly approached two flight attendants who were standing in his way and made stabbing motions at them before actually stabbing one of them.
Passengers followed him and restrained him along with other flight attendants. A photo taken by one passenger shows six people on top of the man as the aircraft descended.
“Torres told investigators he went into the bathroom on the plane and broke a spoon in half to make a weapon. When he came out of the bathroom Torres went into the galley, disarmed the door, and tried to open it unsuccessfully … Torres admitted to knowing that if he opened the door many people would die,” a criminal complaint contended, according to WCVB.
As the man was subdued, the captain radioed air traffic control, telling them that he had been detained but was “not going quietly,” and six people were restraining him until the plane could land.
All of this happened on Sunday after Torres boarded United Airlines Flight 2609 in Los Angeles.
United Airlines praised the passengers and crew who took Torres down.
“Thanks to the quick action of our crew and customers, one customer was restrained after becoming a security concern on a flight from Los Angeles to Boston,” United Airlines said in a statement. “The flight landed safely and was met by law enforcement. No serious injuries were reported.”
The airline announced that Torres was banned from flying on their flights.
“We have zero tolerance for any type of violence on our flights, and this customer will be banned from flying on United pending an investigation. We are cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation,” the airline added.
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