Cellphone video shows a passenger on a United Airlines flight threatening to "kill every man on this plane" before allegedly attacking a flight attendant with a broken metal spoon.
In the footage, Francisco Severo Torres, 33, screams from his seat during a flight from Los Angeles to Boston. He then stands up, walks toward the crew members and appears to lunge at a flight attendant. Several passengers rush at him to intervene, the footage shows.
Lisa Olsen, who filmed the video, told NBC Boston that Torres seemed to be "visibly upset" and threatened that there was going to be a "bloodbath."
She praised fellow passengers for stepping in and holding Torres down with zip ties and belts until the plane landed.
"So many, many men on that plane just got up and, you know, went right after him," she said.
The incident began when Torres tried to open an emergency exit door during the weekend flight, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said. Crew members said that about 45 minutes into the flight, they were alerted that the "starboard side door" had been disarmed. A flight attendant inspected the door and noticed that the handle had been moved to an unlocked position.
The attendant secured the handle and notified the other crew members. Federal officials said that the crew noted that Torres had been by the door and "confronted Torres about tampering with the door, to which he allegedly responded by asking if there were cameras showing that he had done so."
The prosecutor's office said that Torres later approached the same door, which was being guarded by two flight attendants, and allegedly thrusted at one in a "stabbing motion with a broken metal spoon."
The flight attendant was hit in the neck three times, the office said.
Torres allegedly said that he "believed the flight attendant was trying to kill him, so he was trying to kill the attendant first," according to a criminal complaint.
He was charged with a count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon.
It's unclear if Torres, who is from Leominster, Massachusetts, has a lawyer.
He is scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
United Airlines said in a statement that it has "zero tolerance for any type of violence on our flights" and banned Torres from flying pending the outcome of an investigation.