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Alaska Airlines Passenger Accused of Stabbing Fellow Traveler on Flight to Las Vegas

A man was arrested and now faces a federal criminal charge after allegedly attacking another passenger on a flight to Las Vegas last month.


According to multiple outlets — including CBS affiliate KLAS-TV and Fox affiliate KVVU-TV — Julio Lopez was taken into custody following a Jan. 24 Alaska Airlines flight headed from Seattle to Las Vegas.


He now faces one count of assault with a dangerous weapon after investigators found a bundle of pens and rubber bands, according to court documents reviewed by PEOPLE.

The FBI has accused Lopez of trying to stab another passenger in the eye after he “began punching and hitting the victim” who was sitting across the aisle from him following a trip to the restroom.


Per the docs, both the victim's wife and another passenger yelled at Lopez to stop. That same passenger also reported seeing "blood everywhere" and noted that a “pen and tape bundle” dropped during the incident.


Lopez is also accused of hitting the victim's wife as she shielded her 7-year-old son during the attack.


After the attack, Lopez allegedly screamed that he would "only talk to the FBI." As he moved up the aisle of the aircraft, a law enforcement officer ordered him to sit down in an empty seat. The flight crew then “worked to provide flex cuffs and the defendant was restrained for the remainder of the flight," per the docs.


The flight initially departed at 6:10 a.m. in Seattle and the alleged attack took place about 30 minutes before landing in Las Vegas at 8:37 a.m.


When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Alaska Airlines on Thursday confirmed to PEOPLE that there was an incident on Alaska Airlines Flight 604 on Jan. 24 that "involved an altercation between two passengers."


"The incident happened as the aircraft was on descent for arrival in Las Vegas. The aircraft landed safely, and law enforcement took one passenger into custody after the plane arrived at the gate," the statement read. "We’re thankful for our crew for their professionalism in the handling of the incident."


According to the FBI, the suspect told Federal Air Marshals that he “felt the mafia had been chasing him the last few months.” He also "admitted to never seeing" the victim before, “but planned on attacking and killing him," telling the FBI that he believed the man was part of the Cartel.


Lopez also told the FBI that "he intended to kill" the victim and that he "had created the weapon he used," which authorities identified as the bundle of pens.


The FBI Las Vegas Field Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for more information on Thursday.


According to KLAS, Judge Nancy Koppe ordered Lopez to be detained on Jan. 25 until trial and he was indicted on the assault charge by a grand jury on Wednesday. He is reportedly due to return to court on March 1.


This article originally appeared on People.

Photo: DIETMAR PLATH/ULLSTEIN BILD VIA GETTY 

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