Alaska Airlines Passenger Arrested for Alleged Mid-Flight Attack Plot

An Alaska Airlines passenger, Julio Alvarez Lopez, has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon after allegedly planning to attack and kill a fellow passenger during a mid-flight altercation. The incident occurred on a flight from Seattle to Las Vegas last month.

According to federal court records, Lopez, who appeared fidgety throughout the flight, continuously put on and removed his gloves. He spent an extended period in the bathroom during the initial descent. Upon returning to his seat, Lopez began punching and hitting the man seated across the aisle, attempting to stab him in the eye.

Witnesses reported that the victim’s wife screamed at Lopez to stop, while another passenger unbuckled her seatbelt and yelled at him to cease his assault. Lopez also struck the screaming wife, who was shielding their 7-year-old son from the attack. A pen and tape bundle dropped to the floor during the altercation, resulting in blood being present at the scene.

After the incident, Lopez made his way to the front of the plane, shouting that he would only speak to the FBI. A law enforcement officer on board ordered him to sit down, and the flight crew provided restraints to keep him restrained for the remainder of the flight.

Upon landing at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Lopez was arrested by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. He was held at a substation in Terminal 3, where he was questioned. Lopez admitted to planning the attack, claiming he believed the mafia was chasing him. He stated that he had never seen the victim before but had intended to kill him. Lopez had armed himself with pens wrapped in rubber bands, which he had created before the flight.

US Magistrate Judge Nancy Koppe ordered Lopez to be detained pending trial. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on the assault charge and is scheduled to appear in court on March 1.

Author: CrimeDoor

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