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Saturday, April 13 2024

In-flight Horror: Passenger Stabs Co-Traveler, Admits Murder Plan

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During a violent mid-flight altercation last month, a passenger on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Las Vegas made plans to kill another passenger with a makeshift weapon. According to a story in the New York Post, the man, Julio Alvarez Lopez, was taken into custody on January 24 at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas.

He was charged with “one count of assault with a dangerous weapon”. The man was “fidgety” throughout the flight. As per the outlet, he kept on putting and removing his gloves and used the bathroom for a long period during the flight’s initial descent. According to Fox News, “he sat down, got up a second time, and went to the restroom, where he was reportedly gone for ‘a while’.”

Lopez “began punching and hitting” the man sitting across the aisle as soon as he got back to his designated seat. He also attempted to stab him in the eye.

In court documents, an FBI agent stated, “The victim’s wife was screaming at the defendant to stop hitting her husband during the altercation. (A witness) screamed at the defendant to stop while unbuckling her seatbelt.” Lopez also struck the woman, who was defending their seven-year-old son.

According to the witnesses, there “was blood everywhere,” and a “pen and tape bundle” had dropped to the floor. The co-passenger is alive but he was severely injured. Lopez had walked to the front of the aircraft after the fight, yelling, “I’ll only talk to the FBI.”

Lopez was told to sit down by an onboard law enforcement official, and the flight attendants “worked to provide flex cuffs and the defendant was restrained for the remainder of the flight.”

The plane landed at about 8:30 am, and Las Vegas Metropolitan arrested him. The man claimed to have never seen the victim but “planned on killing him,” saying he “felt the mafia had been chasing him” and for this reason he planned the attack. He also stated that before boarding the flight, he armed himself with pens that were wrapped in rubber bands.

He informed the investigators that he was applying for asylum in the US, according to Fox News. He continued by saying that he thought the other passenger was a member of “the Cartel” and was pursuing him.

The man’s next court date is March 1.

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