Prosecutors said the plane was about 45 minutes from landing in Boston when the crew received an alarm that the side doors on the plane had been disarmed.

WASHINGTON — A Massachusetts man tried to open an emergency door on an airliner flying from Los Angeles to Boston, then tried to stab a flight attendant in the neck with a broken metal spoon, federal prosecutors allege Monday.

Francisco Severo Torres, 33, of Leominster, was grabbed and restrained by passengers and arrested Sunday at Boston Logan International Airport as United Airlines Flight 2609 landed, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston said in a statement.

He was charged with interfering and attempting to interfere with the activities of crew members and maintenance personnel using a dangerous weapon, the statement added.

The man was taken into custody during his initial appearance in federal court on Monday and is awaiting a hearing scheduled for Thursday. An email seeking comment was left with his federal public defender.

Prosecutors said the plane was about 45 minutes from arriving in Boston when the crew received a signal that the side doors on the plane were disarmed.

A flight attendant noticed the door lock handle had been moved from the fully closed position about a quarter of the way to the unlocked position and the emergency latch lever had been moved to the disarmed position, authorities said. The crew secured the door and slide.

Aircraft doors cannot be opened once in flight due to cabin pressure.

Another flight attendant noticed that Torres was seen near the door and believed he had tampered with it, authorities said. The crew told the captain that he was a threat and the plane should be landed as soon as possible.

At that point, prosecutors say, Torres got up from his seat, walked over to two flight attendants standing in the aisle and used a spoon to stab the flight attendant three times in the neck.

Passengers grabbed Torres, who was restrained by the crew.

According to the indictment, Torres told investigators he went into the plane’s bathroom and broke a spoon in half to make a weapon.

When he left the bathroom, Torres said he went into the galley, disarmed the door and tried unsuccessfully to open it with the idea of ​​jumping out of the plane, the document said.

Investigators said Torres admitted he knew if he opened the door, many people would die.

Torres also said he then confronted the flight attendants and, trying to defend himself, stabbed one of the attendants three or four times in the neck, according to investigators. They added that Torres said he believed the flight attendant was trying to kill him, so he tried to kill him first.

Authorities have not said where Torres got the spoon, but TSA rules allow airline passengers to carry metal utensils on planes except knives.

United Airlines said no one was injured.

“Thanks to the quick actions of our crew and customers, one customer was restrained after becoming a security concern on United flight 2609 from Los Angeles to Boston,” the company said in a statement. “The flight landed safely and was met by law enforcement.”

The airline said it has a zero-tolerance policy for violence, and Torres will be banned from flying United pending an investigation.

One passenger told investigators that Torres asked where the safety card indicated where the door handle was during a safety briefing for flight attendants before takeoff, prosecutors said.

If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Previous articleColumbus police are investigating several shootings over the weekend
Next articleSoFi Bank is suing over Biden’s latest student loan extension