Man accused of trying open door mid-flight deemed not competent to stand trial
A man accused of trying to stab a flight attendant and open a plane door mid-flight has been found incompetent to stand trial.
In a competency hearing held Wednesday, a forensic evaluation was presented showing Francisco Severo Torres "does not understand the nature and consequences of the proceeding against him and is unable to assist in his defense," court documents said.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Judith G. Dein found that Torres was not competent to stand trial at the time and said he needed further treatment, noting Torres himself "personally objects and asserts he is competent to stand trial," the documents show.
Prosecutors allege Torres, 33, was tampering with an emergency exit while on a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston in March. When flight attendants confronted him, he allegedly hit one of them in the neck three times with a broken metal spoon.
Prosecutors claim Torres told passengers he was "taking over this plane" and that there would be a "bloodbath," CBS Boston reported.
Other passengers on the flight restrained him until the plane landed safely at Logan Airport in Boston.
Torres had objected to a mental evaluation during a March court appearance, but the judge eventually ordered one, CBS Boston reported.
He is charged with interfering with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon.