Utah man arrested after holding a RAZOR BLADE to throat of female flight passenger

Utah man, 41, is arrested after holding a RAZOR BLADE to throat of female passenger sitting next to him on JetBlue flight from JFK to Salt Lake City

  • Merrill Darrell Fackrell, 41, of Syracuse, is facing federal charges after allegedly holding a razor blade to a woman’s neck on a NYC to Salt Lake City flight
  • Fackrell has been charged with carrying a weapon on an aircraft and assault with a dangerous weapon in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States
  • Court documents reveal Fackrell had reportedly consumed ‘several’ alcoholic beverages throughout the duration of the flight before the alleged assault
  • The woman claims that she took off her headphones and realized Fackrell had what appeared to be a knife positioned inches from her neck
  • Abraham Neiderhauser filmed a video of police hauling Fackrell off the plane as he tries to get in one last word, yelling, ‘peace out’ 
  • There have been 2,178 reports of unruly passengers, as of November 1 this year

A Utah man is facing federal charges after allegedly holding a razor blade to a woman’s neck on a New York City to Salt Lake City flight.

Merrill Darrell Fackrell, 41, of Syracuse, Utah had been travelling on the JetBlue flight on November 21 when he allegedly assaulted the passenger next to him, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Fackrell has been charged with carrying a weapon on an aircraft and assault with a dangerous weapon in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.

He had been sitting in a window seat in a row with a married woman and man and engaged in conversation with the woman, according to a criminal complaint.

Fackrell had reportedly consumed ‘several’ alcoholic beverages throughout the flight, according to court documents obtained by Gephardt Daily.

The woman had began to watch a movie using headphones, and said she could hear Fackrell continue to talk to himself, but was not paying attention.

Abraham Neiderhauser, who had been a passenger on the flight, filmed a video of police hauling Fackrell off the plane as he tries to get in one last word, yelling, 'peace out'

Fackrell had reportedly consumed 'several' alcoholic beverages throughout the duration of the flight before allegedly assaulting the woman next to him

Abraham Neiderhauser, who had been a passenger on the flight, filmed a video of police hauling Fackrell off the plane as he tries to get in one last word, yelling, ‘peace out’

Utah man, Merrill Darrell Fackrell, 41, of Syracuse, is facing federal charges after allegedly holding a razor blade to a woman's neck on a New York City to Salt Lake City flight

Utah man, Merrill Darrell Fackrell, 41, of Syracuse, is facing federal charges after allegedly holding a razor blade to a woman’s neck on a New York City to Salt Lake City flight

It alleged that Fackrell then put his hand in front of the screen and told her to pause the movie.

The woman claims that she took off her headphones and realized Fackrell had what appeared to be a knife positioned inches from her neck, the complaint said.

The object Fackrell had been allegedly holding to her neck was later identified as a straight edge razor with a one-to-two-inch blade.

Fackrell then allegedly stood up and yelled, ‘she’s going to be ok,’ and ‘no one needs to worry.’

He is alleged to then tell the woman’s husband to ‘get the f*** out of there.’

The woman’s husband got up to alert a flight attendant while she lunged for the aisle claiming that Fackrell had tried to grab her shoulder and stop her.

Another passenger, identified as a man named Rob, seated across the aisle saw Fackrell holding an object, confronted him, and was able to get him to put the object he was holding down on the seat.

He passed the object to the flight crew for safe keeping, according to the complaint – then proceeded to sit next to Fackrell for the duration of the flight.

It remains unclear how Fackrell got the razor on board the flight.

A fellow passenger on the plane recorded a video of Fackrell being escorted out by police after landing, according to KSL TV.

Fackrell has been charged with carrying a weapon on an aircraft and assault with a dangerous weapon - It is unclear how he got the weapon on the plane

Fackrell has been charged with carrying a weapon on an aircraft and assault with a dangerous weapon – It is unclear how he got the weapon on the plane

The incident allegedly took place towards the end of the flight just two hours shy of Salt Lake City International Airport

The incident allegedly took place towards the end of the flight just two hours shy of Salt Lake City International Airport

Abraham Neiderhauser was headed home after a five-month trip around Europe, when the incident unfolded around two hours from landing in Salt Lake City.

Neiderhauser told the broadcaster that he had heard a man start shouting two rows in front of him.

‘He’s grabbing the woman next to him, he has something in his hand,’ he said.

‘He says, ‘Don’t worry, she’s going to be fine. She’s going to be fine,’ and it was kind of a weird thing and kind of ominous, too, the way he was grabbing her. And it’s like, what is that? Is that like a weapon or something?’

Neiderhauser later found out that Fackrell had allegedly been holding a straight-edge razor up to the woman’s throat.

‘He’s like, ‘This ain’t no 9/11 s**t.’ He’s like, ‘just land the plane, and everyone will be fine.’ We didn’t understand why he wanted the plane landed,’ he said.

‘Everyone was really scared. The area around where him and Rob were kind of engaging just cleared out, it’s like the whole front section of the plane was empty. All the airline crew was gone,’ Neiderhauser said.

Neiderhauser was headed home after a five-month trip around Europe, when the incident unfolded around two hours from landing in Salt Lake City

 Neiderhauser was headed home after a five-month trip around Europe, when the incident unfolded around two hours from landing in Salt Lake City

Neiderhauser recounted that there was a collective 'sigh of relief' when the plane landed and Fackrell was taken off the flight, he noted that the experience was 'traumatic'

Neiderhauser recounted that there was a collective ‘sigh of relief’ when the plane landed and Fackrell was taken off the flight, he noted that the experience was ‘traumatic’

‘For this period of like, I don’t know how long it was, 30 minutes, everyone’s just kind of in suspense at what’s going to happen. Rob was very brave, you know, engaging like this.’

Neiderhauser filmed a video of police hauling Fackrell off the plane as he gets in one last word, telling everyone, ‘peace out.’

‘You could kind of feel the whole plane breathe this collective sigh of relief,’ Neiderhauser said.

‘After he left, everyone clapped for Rob because they were really grateful for him. I think for a lot of people, it was really traumatic.’

The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed the complaint on November 22 and the case is being investigated by Salt Lake City Police Department and an FBI Task Force officer.

A spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) told CBS News the administration is ‘very concerned about the number of unruly passengers who engage in disruptive behavior during flight.’

‘We take our responsibility to secure the skies for the traveling public very seriously and are introducing new x-ray technology at more airports to improve our capability to better detect items such as the one used in this incident,’ the spokesperson said.

‘We commend the actions of the flight attendants and other passengers on this flight.’

It is unclear when Fackrell will appear in court.  

Last year, 1,099 investigations were initiated into unruly passengers, a large increase from 2020, when there were 183 investigations.

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

Source

Related posts