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Utah Man Charged with Holding Razor Blade to Another Passenger’s Throat Mid-Flight

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A Utah man is facing federal charges after allegedly carrying a razor blade on an airplane and assaulting another passenger with it on a New York City-to-Salt Lake City flight, authorities said.

Merrill Darrell Fackrell, 41, of Syracuse, Utah, was charged Tuesday with assault with a dangerous weapon on or near aircraft and carrying a weapon on a flight, prosecutors said.

According to authorities, the ordeal happened Monday, when Fackrell boarded a JetBlue flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport en route to Salt Lake City while concealing a straight-edge razor.

Once on the plane, Fackrell was seated in a window seat next to a married couple. At some point he turned to the woman next to him and told her to pause her movie, prosecutors said.

Fackrell, who officials said had consumed “several alcoholic beverages” during the flight, then used his hand to try to block the woman’s screen and later held the razor near her throat, according to the complaint.

The woman’s husband later went to the front of the aircraft to get help from the flight attendant. 

“He was going to get help because he knew something was really off,” the woman told NBC affiliate KSL-TV. “He didn’t knowingly leave me to handle a man with a weapon all by myself.”

The object was then secured by flight attendants. The couple was later moved to the front of the plane. No injuries were reported.

It was not immediately clear on Thursday how Fackrell was able to get the razor onto the airplane. 

According to NBC News, on Wednesday Magistrate Judge Daphne A. Oberg of the U.S. District Court in Utah ordered Fackrell held.

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