The man accused of disengaging the emergency door lock on a flight to Boston in March and trying to stab a flight attendant with a spoon has been federally indicted.
Francisco Severo Torres, 33, a Leominster man who has claimed that God had named him “Balthazar” — partially contributing to a federal choose to order a psychological analysis earlier this yr — was indicted at this time in federal court docket in Boston on one rely of interference and tried interference with flight crew members and attendants utilizing a harmful weapon.
The expenses carry a sentence of as much as life in jail, as much as 5 years of supervised launch and a effective of as much as $250,000
Torres was initially charged by federal grievance on March 6 following his arrest at Boston Logan International Airport after his aircraft from Los Angeles landed there the day earlier than.
“Where are they diverting us? ‘Cause wherever it is, there’s going to be a bloodbath everywhere,” Torres may be heard saying in a video from the flight shared with the Associated Press. Federal prosecutors additionally say he mentioned he would “kill every man on this plane” and “I’m taking over this plane.”
According to federal charging paperwork, an alarm sounded within the cockpit of United Airlines flight 2609 from Los Angeles about 45 minutes earlier than it was set to land in Boston. The alarm warned that the locking mechanism of the aircraft’s aspect door between first-class and financial system had been disengaged.
After the lock was secured, one of many flight attendants advised different flight crew that he had seen the person recognized as Torres close to the door and that the attendant believed he had been the one to tamper with the lock. When confronted with the allegation, Torres allegedly requested the flight attendant if there have been cameras that captured him doing that.
“(Flight Attendant) 1 then returned to galley 2 and notified the Captain that he felt Torres posed a threat to the aircraft and that the Captain needed to land the aircraft as soon as possible,” the felony grievance states.
Torres then, based on the charging docs, acquired out of his seat, 20E, and argued with crew and passengers — the video depicts him saying the above quote in addition to that folks can save themselves by operating away or by not approaching him, as he’s “Balthazar, as renamed by God, Balthazar — earlier than moving into the aisle with a damaged metallic spoon and making a stabbing movement with it earlier than he was subdued by crew and passengers.
Prosecutors allege that throughout the ruckus, he hit a flight attendant within the neck 3 times with the spoon.
One of those that tackled him was Jeff Neil, 52, of Exeter, N.H., a former Faneuil Hall bar bouncer, who acquired a “citizen’s award” for his actions.
Passengers interviewed later would allegedly inform investigators that Torres had requested the place on the emergency security card it mentioned tips on how to open one of many emergency doorways.
During his personal interview following arrest, Torres allegedly advised investigators that he “had gotten the idea to open the emergency exit door and jump out of the plane. TORRES admitted to knowing that if he opened the door many people would die.”
He mentioned his use of the spoon was in self-defense, and that “he believed the flight attendant was trying to kill him, so he was trying to kill the flight attendant first,” based on charging docs.
Torres appeared in federal court docket in Boston on March 9, after which U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith G. Dein ordered a psychiatric examination and a dedication of a minimum of 30 days. She additionally strongly urged him to not communicate, regardless of his pleas to say one thing for himself.
“The God, the Son and the Holy Spirit say that I should,” Torres, mentioned from his seat, including that as a result of such highly effective forces wished it, that he should. But, after a fast convention along with his legal professional, he mentioned he would let Dein determine. She suggested him to not and he complied.
Torres did, nonetheless, make an announcement as he was led out of the courtroom: “I’ve been renamed Balthazar by God. … B.A.L.T.H.A.Z.A.R., Balthazar.”
Balthazar is the identify of one of many holy Magi who visited the infant Jesus within the New Testament of the Bible. While Torres has made a number of statements knowledgeable by Abrahamic religions, he has not explicitly said that that is the individual he takes the identify from.