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Man accused of attempting to open plane door allegedly tried to attack jail guards

Massachusetts State Police

(CENTRAL FALLS, R.I.) — An airline passenger accused of attempting to open a plane emergency exit door and then swinging at a flight attendant with a broken spoon allegedly tried to attack two guards Tuesday at the jail where he is being held, law enforcement sources told ABC News.


Francisco Torres, 33, of Leominster, Massachusetts, is being held at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island, after he was ordered detained pending a bail hearing on Thursday.

Details and the severity of the incident at the jail were not immediately clear.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, which is prosecuting the case against Torres, declined to comment.

A request for comment was not immediately answered by the warden’s office.

Torres was charged with one count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon, following the incident on a United Airlines flight on Sunday from Los Angeles to Boston.

Torres allegedly tried to stab a flight attendant in the neck with a broken metal spoon after he was confronted about tampering with the door, federal prosecutors said.

A “flight attendant found that the door’s locking handle had been moved out of the fully locked position … and that the emergency slide arming lever had been moved to the ‘disarmed’ position,” prosecutors said.

Torres later told police he went into the bathroom to break the spoon “to make a weapon,” court records stated. Torres also allegedly told investigators he believed a flight attendant was trying to kill him, so he tried to kill the flight attendant first, according to court records.

Fellow passengers tackled him and the flight crew helped restrain him, prosecutors said. The flight attendant told police he wasn’t hurt, according to court documents.

Torres was taken into custody when the flight landed at Logan Airport.

Torres has two prior arrests, one for armed robbery and the other for assault and battery, though he was never convicted, law enforcement sources told ABC News. It appears he was determined not fit for prosecution.

ABC News Emily Shapiro and Benjamin Stein contributed to this report.

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