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Officials say the man accused of holding a razor to a woman’s neck on a JetBlue flight

Officials say the man accused of holding a razor to a woman's neck on a JetBlue flight
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A Utah man has been arrested and charged after allegedly holding a razor blade to a woman’s neck on a plane.

Merrill Darrell Fackrell, 41, was flying from New York to Salt Lake City on a JetBlue flight in November. 21 When he attacked the passenger next to him, according to Ministry of Justice.

According to the criminal complaint filed by the DOJ, he sat in a row of window seats with a married woman and a man and chatted with the woman.

The woman started watching a movie using headphones and said she heard Fackrell keep talking to her, but she didn’t pay attention. Fackrell then put his hand in front of the screen and told him to stop the movie.

The woman claims she took off her headphones and realized Fackrell had what appeared to be a knife placed an inch from his neck, according to the DOJ.

The object was later identified as a straight edge razor with a one to two inch blade.

Fackrell allegedly stood up and yelled, “He’s going to be fine” and “No one needs to worry.” According to the lawsuit, she told her husband to “get the hell out of there.”

The woman’s husband stood up to warn the flight attendant. The woman walked down the hall and Fackrell grabbed her shoulder and tried to hold her back.

Another passenger sitting in the aisle saw Fackrell holding an object in his hand, confronted him and managed to put the object he was holding onto the seat. According to the complaint, he gave the object, which turned out to be a razor, to the flight crew for safekeeping. He then sat next to Fackrell for the duration of the flight.

A JetBlue spokesperson told CBS News that the alleged incident happened near the end of the flight.

“Crew members responded by working to de-escalate the situation and alerted law enforcement who met the flight in Salt Lake City,” the spokesperson said. “The safety of our customers and crew members is JetBlue’s first priority, and we will support law enforcement during their investigation.”

One of the passengers on the plane took a video of Fackrell being escorted out by the police after landing.

The US Attorney’s Office filed the complaint in November. 22, according to the Justice Department, charging Fackrell with carrying a weapon on an airplane and assault with a dangerous weapon in the United States’ special aircraft jurisdiction.

The case is being investigated by the Salt Lake City Police Department and the FBI Task Force.

A spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said the administration is “deeply concerned about the number of insecure passengers who engage in disruptive in-flight behavior.”

TSA is working with law enforcement on the matter.

“We take our responsibility to secure the skies for the traveling public very seriously and are deploying new X-ray technology at more airports to improve our ability to detect items such as those used in this incident,” the spokesman said. “We appreciate the actions of the flight attendants and other passengers on this flight.”

In 2021, there were 5,981 unruly passenger reports, and the FAA proposed $5 million in fines against unruly passengers last year. according to management.

Last year, 1099 investigations were started. great growth Since 2020, when there have been 183 investigations into erratic passenger incidents.

This year, as of November, there were 2,178 reports of unruly passengers. 1.

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