A drunk passenger on board a JetBlue flight from New York to Salt Lake City put a razor to the throat of a woman sitting in a nearby chair.
As it turned out, this happened only because she decided to stop talking to him and instead started watching a movie in the entertainment system of the plane.
Merrill Darrell Fackrell of Utah is charged with concealed carrying of a dangerous weapon on board a JetBlue flight B6-871 and assault after a horrific incident last week.
Court documents filed in federal court in Salt Lake City accuse Fackrell of threatening his neighbor with a Facon razor. How he managed to smuggle it aboard the Airbus A320 in violation of TSA safety regulations is unknown.
In the affidavit, Fackrell explained that he was sitting in a window seat in the sixth row next to an ordinary woman. For some reason, she was sitting in the middle seat, and her husband was in the aisle chair.
During the flight, Fackrell drank several servings of alcoholic beverages and had a “long and varied” conversation with the woman before she eventually followed her husband to the rear of the plane, “apparently to the toilet.”
Upon returning, the woman put on her headphones and started watching a movie on the front seat screen, while Fackrell seemed to be talking to himself.
However, the man suddenly put his hand on her screen and told her to pause the movie. It was at that moment that she realized that Fackrell was holding the blade just a few centimeters from her throat before he jumped up and screamed: “She’ll be fine” and “no one needs to worry.”
Fackrell shouted at the woman’s husband to “fuck off,” to which he reacted by running to the front of the plane for help, while his wife was looking for possible ways to escape.
Investigators say that the woman “threw herself” on the floor, into the aisle, managing to free herself from the attacker for some moments, nevertheless he grabbed her by the shoulder to prevent her from escaping. She ran forward down the aisle, and luckily, a passenger sitting on the opposite side of the aisle grabbed Frekell and managed to disarm him without any further incident.
The hero passenger then stayed with Frekell throughout the flight, which it was decided to continue. However, upon arrival, the plane was already met by law enforcement officers, and Frekell was quickly taken into custody.
At the trial, it turned out that Frekell apparently suffers from an untreated serious mental disorder.
The incident is sure to raise additional questions from the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration due to the apparent inability of intelligence officers to prevent Freckell from delivering a razor blade on board.
Earlier this month, a passenger on a flight to Tampa allegedly carried two cardboard box cutters on board the plane, which he later used to threaten a flight attendant.
Fortunately, this incident was also resolved without any injuries.