Terrifying footage has been released of the moment a passenger on a United Airlines flight from LA to Boston went berserk and threatened to “kill every man on this plane.”
Francisco Severo Torres, 33, of Leominster, Massachusetts, was charged with one count of interfering and attempted interfering with flight crew members using a dangerous weapon after stabbing a flight attendant with a broken spoon.
In a video shot by a fellow passenger sitting only a few feet away, Torres can be heard threatening to commit mass murder while urging others to stop him.
Torres was seen standing erect in his chair as he yelled at those seated around him.
Then video sees Torres get out of his chair and make a menacing gesture with his arms to create an invisible gun.
Francisco Severo Torres, 33, of Leominster, Massachusetts, was seen raging and ranting as he sat in his emergency exit seat on a United flight from Los Angeles to Boston
A photo taken by another person on board shows six people in the plane’s galley trying to restrain Torres as the plane touched down
United Airlines Flight 2609 from Los Angeles to Boston landed safely on Sunday and Torres was apprehended
Passengers watching him were heard exclaiming “oh God” as they witnessed Torres’ antics.
He then approached two flight attendants standing in the aisle and used the spoon to make stabbing motions, striking one flight attendant three times in the neck.
He was restrained by other passengers who charged forward from the back of the plane and other flight attendants.
As the nightmare drama unfolded in the cabin, in the front of the cockpit, the flight’s captain radioed air traffic control to tell them that Torres had been restrained by passengers but was “not going quietly,” and that six people held him back while the plane landed.
A photo taken by another person on board shows six people in the plane’s galley trying to restrain Torres as the plane descended.
Torres had boarded United Airlines Flight 2609 in Los Angeles on Sunday, bound for Boston.
He had remained silent for most of the flight when, just 45 minutes before landing, a cabin crew member noticed that an emergency exit had been tampered with.
This file photo from earlier this year shows a United Airlines plane taking off
A flight attendant noticed that the door lock handle had moved from the fully locked position about a quarter of the way to the unlocked position.
The emergency slide engagement lever was also set to the disengaged position, authorities said. The crew secured the door and slide.
Another flight attendant had noticed that Torres had been seen at the door and thought he had tampered with it. The crew told the captain that he was a threat and that the aircraft should land as soon as possible.
The captain told air traffic control that they had had an incident.
“The person has been apprehended, attempted to open an external emergency door,” he said in audio obtained by CBS Boston.
“That person was suppressed and is now being held – he is not going away quietly though: he is but lying there with six capable bodies on top of him.”
United praised the quick thinking of the crew and passengers.
“Thanks to the prompt action of our crew and customers, a customer was detained after becoming a safety concern on a flight from Los Angeles to Boston,” United said in a statement.
The flight landed safely and was met by police. No serious injuries have been reported.”
The airline said Torres was immediately banned from flying on their flights.
“We will not tolerate violence of any kind on our flights and this customer will be banned from flying United pending an investigation. We are cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation.”
A passenger told investigators that Torres had asked where the door handle was located on the safety card during the flight attendants’ pre-takeoff safety briefing.
Another said Torres paced the plane before attacking the attendant.
The charge of interference and attempted interference with the use of a dangerous weapon by flight crew members and crew members carries a prison sentence of up to five years under supervision and a fine of up to $250,000.