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A man onboard a plane allegedly threatened to kill everyone inside, stabbed an air steward with a snapped spoon and tried to open an emergency door.
Francisco Severo Torres, 33, of Leominster, Massachusetts was flying with United Airlines from LA to Boston in the USA on March 5, 2022.
Flight attendants are understood to have become aware of an alarm going off 45 minutes before they were due to land, the journey having been without event until that point.
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After investigation, stewards onboard United flight 2609 claimed that it had been Torres who put the door’s locking handle out of the locked position and notified the pilot that he was a threat to the plane, asking it to be landed as soon as possible.
As they dealt with the door, Torres allegedly approached the crew members, mouthing inaudible words as he went.
Reports claim that he lunged towards one of the attendants with a broken metal spoon landing three blows to the neck before passengers tackled him to the ground.
When he touched down at Boston Logan International Airport he was scooped up by waiting officers, the pilot having managed to call through to authorities on the ground ahead of landing due to the alleged incident.
Torres was charged with one count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon.
In a video of the encounter, the suspect can be heard saying: “So where's Homeland Security with a gun?
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“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”.
In the footage, he continued: “So where are they? Where's Homeland Security? Pull the gun! Pull the gun! You're not going to try and stop me?
“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.”
An image of the aftermath of him having been wrestled to the ground shows six people on top of him to restrain him.
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A criminal complaint seen byWCVBreports: “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”.
He appeared before US District Court Magistrate Judge Dein yesterday March 6 for an initial appearance with his hearing due to take place on March 9.
In a conversation with air traffic control as he called ahead to declare the flight an “emergency aircraft”, the controller asked: “United 2609, what happened on board and is the person detained?”
The pilot then responded: “Person is detained, attempted opening of external door, emergency door.
“That person was subdued and is being detained, however not going quietly he's just laying there with six able bodies on top of him”.
In a statement, United Airlines said: "Thanks to the quick action of our crew and customers, one customer was restrained after becoming a security concern on United flight 2609 from Los Angeles to Boston.
"We have zero tolerance for any type of violence on our flights."
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