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Passenger Threatens Woman With Razor Blade On Flight From JFK, Feds Say

John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York.
John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

A man has been apprehended after allegedly holding a razor blade to a woman's throat on a Thanksgiving Week flight out of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

The 41-year-old suspect, a Utah resident from the city of Syracuse, located about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City in Davis County, has been arrested and charged in a federal criminal complaint for carrying and using the straight-edge razor blade during a flight Monday, Nov. 21, according to the US Attorney's Office for the District of Utah.

According to the allegations in the complaint and law enforcement affidavit, the suspect, Merrill Darrell Fackrell, departed on JetBlue Flight No. 871 from JFK en route to Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah.  

Fackrell, who was in a window seat next to married passengers, placed his hand in front of the woman’s screen and told her to pause her movie during the flight, the US Attorney's Office said. 

According to the complaint, the woman took off her headphones and realized Fackrell had his hand clutched with what appeared to her as a knife, inches from her skin at her throat/neck area.

The woman’s husband went to the front of the aircraft to get assistance from the flight attendant, the complaint added. 

"The woman lunged for the aisle to escape and Fackrell reached and tried to stop her by grabbing her shoulder," according to the US Attorney's Office. "The object was secured and later identified as a Facón wood-handled straight-edge razor with a one-to-two-inch blade."

According to an account by a witness reported by Lauren Steinbrecher, a multimedia journalist  in Salt Lake City, the suspect demanded the "plane land saying 'This ain't no 9/11 sh**.' Good Samaritan steps in, gets weapon away, calms man down, stays next to him until plane lands. 'Peace out,' man says as he's arrested."

Fackrell has been charged with:

  • Carrying a weapon on an aircraft,
  • Assault with a dangerous weapon in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.

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