My goodness, what is wrong with people?! We now have video footage of what happened from the incident I wrote about yesterday…
In this post:
Man disarms exit door, attacks flight attendant
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts has announced that a man has been arrested and charged, following his behavior on a flight. Specifically, 33-year-old Francisco Severo Torres was traveling on a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Boston (BOS) on Sunday, March 5, 2023. This was flight number 2609, operated by a 24-year-old Boeing 757-200 with the registration code N67134.
Torres was arrested on Sunday evening at Boston Logan Airport, and now has a hearing set for March 9, 2023. Here’s what happened, according to the charging documents:
- Around 45 minutes before landing, the flight crew received an alarm in the cockpit that a starboard side door located between first class and economy class was disarmed
- Upon inspection, a flight attendant found that the door’s locking handle had been moved out of the fully locked position, approximately a quarter of the way toward the unlocked position
- The flight attendant reported this to the captain and flight crew after securing the door and emergency slide
- Another flight attendant had reported that he observed Torres near the door, and believed Torres had tampered with it
- A flight attendant confronted Torres about this, and he responded by asking if there were cameras showing that he had done so
- The flight attendants then informed the captain that they felt Torres posed a threat to the aircraft, and that the plane needed to land as soon as possible
- Shortly thereafter, Torres approached the door where the flight attendants were standing, and Torres then thrust toward one of the flight attendants in a stabbing motion with a broken metal spoon, hitting the flight attendant on the neck area three times
- Passengers then tackled Torres, and he was restrained with the assistance of the flight crew
In interviews following the flight, other passengers who were aboard reported that Torres had asked fellow passengers where on the safety card it showed where the door handle was located. Furthermore, Torres had been seen pacing in the galley.
For those not familiar with the concept of aircraft doors being armed and disarmed, let me briefly explain, as this is a safety feature. When a plane is at the gate, the doors are disarmed, and that means that the emergency slides won’t be deployed in the event that a door is opened. Meanwhile if the doors are armed, that means that a slide will deploy in the event that the door is opened (since you’d only open an armed door if there’s an emergency).
Video of passenger attacking flight attendant with spoon
A passenger who was on this flight has uploaded a video to social media, showing the moment that the passenger attacked the flight attendant. You can hear the passenger screaming and explaining he’s not going to kill anyone, and that he’s Balthazar, “as renamed by God.” He then says he’s “taking over this plane,” then walks up the aisle, and attacks the flight attendant.
The person who captured the video claims that he had previously been talking about Nazis and raping women. Apparently he had also said:
- “Tell them to bring SWAT to shoot me down because they’re gonna have to shoot me down today”
- “Where are they diverting us because wherever it is, it’s gonna be a bloodbath”
- “Where’s Homeland Security with the gun because I’m waiting for them to point the gun at me so that 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”
Hopefully this guy can get the help he needs, while also not being in a position to do something like this to others again.
The charges that the United Airlines passenger faces
Torres now faces the charge of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon. This provides a sentence of up to life in prison, up to five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.
Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on sentencing guidelines and statutes, which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
A United Airlines passenger attempted to disarm the exit door on a Boeing 757-200. Then when confronted about it, he stabbed one of the flight attendants in the neck multiple time with a broken metal spoon.
This is truly strange behavior, and based on the video, I imagine there must have been some sort of substance involved. It’s noteworthy that the guy had allegedly been asking about the door handle at the beginning of the flight, and then later on ended up trying to disarm the door. We don’t actually know when he disarmed the door, though — it’s possible it happened early on in the flight, or it could have happened shortly before the crew noticed.
It’s quite sad what dangers flight attendants seem to face nowadays while just going about their jobs…
What do you make of this very strange incident?