Alaska Airlines passenger stabs co-flyer on US flight, ‘Planned on killing him’ - Hindustan Times

Alaska Airlines passenger stabs co-flyer on Las Vegas-bound flight, admits 'planned on killing him'

ByShweta Kukreti
Feb 22, 2024 10:07 PM IST

An Alaska Airlines passenger allegedly plotted to attack and kill another person aboard during a nasty mid-flight argument last month.

An Alaska Airlines passenger allegedly plotted to attack and kill another person aboard during a nasty mid-flight argument while flying from Seattle to Las Vegas.

Alaska Airlines(AFP)
Alaska Airlines(AFP)

The altercation took place on January 24 and the man identified as Julio Alvarez Lopez was arrested at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, according to documents reviewed by 8 News Now Investigators. He was charged “with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon”.

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According to records, Lopez allegedly "began punching and hitting" a man sat across the aisle from him after returning from a restroom. He even attempted to stab him in the eye. He also allegedly attacked the victim's wife while she was protecting their 7-year-old son.

“During the altercation, [the victim’s] wife was screaming at the defendant to stop hitting her husband,” an FBI agent wrote in the document. “[A witness] unbuckled her seatbelt and yelled at the defendant to stop.”

Investigators later found a weapon, which was made using a bundle of pens and rubber bands, documents said, adding that Lopez started shouting "I’ll only talk to the FBI" after the gruesome incident.

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Lopez reveals why he planned to attack co-passenger

Witnesses told authorities that there "was blood everywhere," and that a "pen and tape bundle" had fallen on the floor. The male victim suffered serious injuries.

An onboard law enforcement official directed Lopez to sit down, and the crew members "worked to provide flex cuffs, and the defendant was restrained for the remainder of the flight."

He was apprehended by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department after the plane arrived at 8:30 a.m. Lopez then revealed that he plotted the attack because he "felt the mafia had been chasing him," and that he wasn't familiar with the victim "but planned to kill him."

According to Fox News, he told police that he was seeking asylum in the United States, adding that he thinks the victim was with "the Cartel" and was chasing him.

On Wednesday, a federal grand jury convicted Lopez on charges of assault.

Lopez was scheduled to return to court on March 1.

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