The suspect in the United Airlines incident, Francisco Severo Torres, displayed odd behavior in federal court on Thursday during a bail hearing.
Handcuffed and in a prison uniform, Torres requested to address the judge, stating that “the God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit say that I should.” He made another statement on his way out of court, declaring that his name was “still Balthazar” and that he was renamed by God.
The judge ordered Torres to undergo a mental health evaluation, which the federal public defender objected to. The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts requested the mental exam, citing several statements made by Torres that suggest he has mental health issues.
Torres was charged with attempting to open a plane door and stab a flight attendant with a broken metal spoon during a mid-flight outburst that led him to be tackled by other passengers. He threatened to “kill every man on this plane” and said he was “taking over this plane” before launching himself toward a flight attendant.
Passengers were able to subdue him for the remainder of the flight. Before the outburst, he was suspected of trying to open a side door on the aircraft.
Torres has a history of mental health issues and has been a patient in mental health facilities. He has also been involved in family issues and mental health problems, with the police responding to calls involving him in the past.
Torres admitted to authorities that he wanted to jump out of the plane and did not care if others died from it. If convicted, he could face life in prison.