Officials: Utah man charged with assault for allegedly carrying, using razor blade on an aircraft

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A man from Syracuse, Utah, has been charged with assault for allegedly carrying and using a razor blade on an aircraft.

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According to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office District of Utah, Merrill Darrell Fackrell, 41, has been arrested and charged federally for allegedly carrying and using a straight-edge razor during a flight on Monday. The charges were filed on Tuesday.

According to a law enforcement affidavit per the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah, Fackrell was on a JetBlue flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York heading to the Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah.

Fackrell was reportedly seated in a window seat by a couple. During the flight, Fackrell allegedly placed his hand over the woman’s screen and told her to pause the movie, according to The New York Times. The woman reportedly took off her headphones and noticed that Fackrell had a knife in his hand just inches away from her throat area. The woman’s husband was able to get up and get assistance from a flight attendant.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah, the woman had “lunged for the aisle to escape,” but Fackrell allegedly reached and grabbed her shoulder, trying to stop her.

A passenger was able to convince Fackrell to place the razor next to him, according to charging documents obtained by the NY Times. The passenger reportedly took the razor and sat next to Fackrell for the duration of the flight.

According to charging documents obtained by the NY Times, Fackrell and the woman had a conversation before the encounter and Fackrell allegedly had multiple alcoholic drinks.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah said that the blade was eventually secured and it was later identified as a wood-handled straight-edge razor, which had about a one-to-two-inch blade.

The case is being investigated by the Salt Lake City Police Department and an FBI Task Force Officer, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah.

No information has been released about how the razor got on the plane.

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