Man Accused Of Stabbing Passenger With Weapon Of Pens And Rubber Bands On Flight

The suspect told the FBI he attacked the man on the Alaska Airlines flight because he “felt the mafia had been chasing him."
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A man was arrested for allegedly stabbing a fellow passenger with a makeshift weapon made of pens and rubber bands during an Alaska Airlines flight.

Per multiple outlets, the wild incident happened as the flight from Seattle to Las Vegas was preparing to land at Harry Reid International Airport on Jan. 24.

A witness told investigators that the suspect, Julio Alvarez Lopez, was being “fidgety” during the flight, which took off at 6:10 a.m. After returning from the restroom, Lopez unexpectedly “began punching and hitting the victim,” who was seated across the aisle with his wife and 7-year-old son.

The witness also reported seeing “blood everywhere” from the ambush, adding that Lopez dropped a “pen and tape bundle” during the incident.

After Lopez stopped stabbing the victim, he released the homemade weapon and walked toward the front of the plane.

He then yelled, “I’ll only talk to the FBI,” as flight attendants “worked to provide flex cuffs” to restrain him for “the remainder of the flight,” per court documents obtained by NBC.

According to Telemundo, Lopez made the pen weapon shortly before the flight.

“The aircraft landed safely, and law enforcement took one passenger into custody after the plane arrived at the gate,” Alaska said in a statement to NBC on Thursday. “We’re thankful for our crew for their professionalism in the handling of the incident.”

Lopez told FBI agents he had never met the victim, who was identified by the initials “C.R.” in court documents, but “felt the mafia had been chasing him the last few months.”

According to the documents, Lopez told authorities he “planned on attacking and killing him,” adding that he was aiming for his eye to reach his brain.

Lopez was apprehended by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department after the flight landed around 8:37 a.m.

Neither Alaska Airlines nor the FBI Las Vegas field office immediately responded to HuffPost’s requests for comment.

C.R. suffered non-life-threatening injuries in one of his eyes, and the victim’s wife was reportedly also struck during the attack as she tried to shield their son, per court documents.

On Wednesday, a federal grand jury indicted Lopez on the assault charge, CBS affiliate KLAS reported. He’s due to return to court on March 1.

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