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Drunk Utah man charged after assaulting woman with razor blade on JetBlue flight

According to a Department of Justice press release, Merrill Fackrell was on JetBlue Flight 871 from JFK Airport to Salt Lake City on November 21
(Representative Image/Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Representative Image/Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH: A 41-year-old man from Syracuse, Utah identified as Merrill Darrell Fackrell is accused of going berserk on a JetBlue flight, holding a straight razor to a woman's throat and telling her husband to "get the f**k out of here." He has been charged with carrying a weapon on an airplane and assault with a dangerous weapon on an airplane on Tuesday, November 22.

According to a Justice Department press release, Fackrell was on JetBlue Flight 871 from JFK Airport to Salt Lake City on Monday, November 21. Fackrell was seated next to a married couple in a window seat and engaged with the wife in a "long and varied" conversation while her husband watched a movie. According to the criminal complaint, the suspect also consumed several alcoholic beverages during the flight, reported the New York Post.


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During the flight, the complaint stated, "Fackrell placed his hand in front of the woman’s screen and told her to pause her movie. 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 allegations in the complaint further stated that, "The woman lunged for the aisle to escape and Fackrell reached and tried to stop her by grabbing her shoulder. The object was secured and later identified as a Facon wood-handled straight-edge razor with a one-to-two-inch blade." The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told that her husband had no idea why Fackrell had pulled the razor on her when he got up to get help.

"He was going to get help because he knew something was really off with Fackrell and had had enough," the woman said, as per the report. "(My husband) was only a few steps ahead of me when I lunged into the aisle. He didn't knowingly leave me to handle a man with a weapon all by myself," she added.

According to police, the report mentioned, after the woman and her husband moved to the front of the aircraft, the passenger across the aisle confronted Fackrell and persuaded him to put the razor down. The passenger sat by Fackrell for the duration of the flight after handing the weapon to crew members for storage. The case is being investigated by Salt Lake City Police Department and an FBI Task Force Officer, as per the press release.