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US man accused of stabbing flight attendant, trying to open exit door

BOSTON (AFP): A US passenger on a United Airlines flight has been arrested for allegedly trying to open an exit door and stabbing a flight attendant with a metal spoon, prosecutors said Monday.

Francisco Severo Torres, 33, was arrested on Sunday when the plane landed at Boston Logan International Airport after a flight from Los Angeles, the US Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts said.

Torres, of Leominster, Massachusetts, has been charged with attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon, it said in a statement.

According to prosecutors, the flight crew of the plane noticed about 45 minutes before landing in Boston that an emergency exit door had been disarmed.

Flight attendants confronted Torres, who had been seen near the door, and notified the captain that “they believed Torres posed a threat to the aircraft,” they said.

Torres allegedly attacked a flight attendant shortly afterwards with a broken metal spoon, “hitting the flight attendant on the neck area three times,” the US Attorney’s Office said.

“Passengers then tackled Torres and he was restrained with the assistance of flight crew,” it said.

In a statement, United said “no serious injuries were reported.”

“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,” the airline said.

If convicted, Torres could face a sentence of up to life in prison.