Man accused of trying to open emergency exit, stabbing flight attendant

This is a file image of a TSA agent's badge and patch. (AP)

BOSTON (WLNE) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts said a Leominster man was arrested for allegedly attempting to open an emergency exit and stabbing a flight attendant mid-flight.

Authorities said Francisco Severo Torres, 33, was charged with one count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon.

Court documents said last week that Torres was on a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston. About 45 minutes before landing, crewmembers were alerted that an emergency door on the plane had been disarmed.

Flight attendants reported Torres to be near the door shortly after it was secured. When confronted about tampering with the door, Torres asked if there were cameras that could prove he did it.

Shortly after, attendants notified the pilot that Torres posed a possible threat and they needed to make an emergency landing.

Records show Torres got out of his seat shortly after and approached flight attendants standing in the aisle.

It is alleged that he lunged at one of the attendants with a broken metal spoon, striking them in the neck.

Torres was immediately taken into custody when the flight arrived in Boston.

Authorities said Torres could a sentence of up to life in prison, up to five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

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