A Utah man has been charged after bringing a straight-edged razor on a flight and holding it close to a passenger’s neck.
The incident comes just weeks after a man brought two cutters through security and onto a Frontier Airlines flight bound for Tampa.
Merrill Darrell Fackrell, 41, is reportedly scheduled to board a JetBlue flight Monday at JFK Airport in New York bound for Salt Lake City. During the flight, Fackrell was sitting in the window seat next to a woman when he allegedly placed his hand in front of her screen and told her to pause her movie, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney̵[ads1]7;s Office, District of Utah. The woman then realized that Fackrell was holding what appeared to her to be a knife, “centimeters from her skin at the throat/neck area,” the release states.
The woman’s husband then went to the front of the plane to get assistance from a flight attendant. The woman lunged toward the aisle to escape, and Fackrell reached and tried to stop her by grabbing her shoulder, according to the release.
The item was secured and later identified as a three-handled, straight-edged razor with a 1- to 2-inch blade.
In a statement to ABC News, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it “takes[s] our responsibility to secure the skies for travelers very seriously.” The agency said it is introducing new X-ray technology at several airports to improve the ability to detect objects like the one used in this incident.
Fackrell was later charged with carrying a weapon on an aircraft and assault with a dangerous weapon in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.
“Crew members responded by working to de-escalate the situation and alerted police who met the flight in Salt Lake City,” JetBlue said in a statement Friday. “The safety of our customers and crew members is JetBlue’s first priority, and we will support law enforcement during their investigation.”