A Utah man is facing federal charges after allegedly assaulting another passenger with a razor blade on a JetBlue flight, NBC News reports.
The incident took place on Tuesday aboard a JetBlue flight that departed from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport en route to Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah.
Merrill Fackrell, 41, from Syracuse, Utah, was charged on Tuesday with carrying a weapon on an aircraft and assault with a dangerous weapon in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.
According to authorities, Fackrell was sitting in a window seat next to a married couple, whom he was engaged in a conversation with.
At some point, Fackrell asked the woman to pause her movie. The woman then noticed Fackrell was holding a knife a few inches from her throat. While the woman’s husband left their row to alert flight attendants, the woman lunged for the aisle, and was able to escape.
“He was going to get help because he knew something was really off with Fackrell and had had enough,” the woman NBC affiliate KSL-TV. “(My husband) was only a few steps ahead of me when I lunged into the aisle. He didn’t knowingly leave me to handle a man with a weapon all by myself.”
Fackrell allegedly stood up and began yelling, “She’s going to be OK,” and, “No one needs to worry.”
After flight attendants moved the woman and her husband to a new row at the front of the plane, a passenger confronted Fackrell and got him to put the weapon down.
The object was secured and later identified as a Facon wood-handled straight edge razor with a one-to-two-inch blade.