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Flight Attendants: Stabbing Shows Need For Disruptive Passenger List

A Massachusetts man aboard a United Airlines flight on Sunday tried to open the emergency door while the flight was in the air and tried to stab a flight attendant in the neck, prosecutors said. Francisco Torres, 33, was charged with one count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and using a dangerous weapon, said the U.S. Attorney in Boston. The incident happened on a flight from Los Angeles to Boston, just under an hour before the plane was set to land, reports USA Today. The flight crew was notified of an alarm in the cockpit that a starboard side door was disarmed. A flight attendant found the door's locking handle was moved out of the fully locked position A flight attendant saw Torres near the door, and believed Torres tampered with the door.


Flight attendants notified the captain they believed Torres posed "a threat to the aircraft" and the captain "needed to land ... as soon as possible." Torres allegedly "thrust towards one of the flight attendants in a stabbing motion with a broken metal spoon, hitting the flight attendant on the neck area three times," prosecutors said. Passengers tackled Torres and the flight crew assisted in restraining him before the flight landed. "Torres stated that he believed the flight attendant was trying to kill him, so he was trying to kill the flight attendant first," said a federal complaint. Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said the incident adds to the "urgent need" to create a national banned disruptive passenger list. She said such incidents put "everyone at risk and there’s zero tolerance for that."

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