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A passenger accused of attacking another passenger with pens on an Alaska Airlines flight is charged in federal court.

A passenger traveling on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Las Vegas in late January is facing charges of assault with a dangerous weapon after allegedly attacking another passenger with pens wrapped in rubber bands. The incident occurred while the plane was in the air, and the accused, Julio Alvarez Lopez, reportedly became aggressive about thirty minutes before the scheduled landing.

According to court documents filed in the US District Court of Nevada, Lopez started hitting and punching the victim upon returning from the restroom. Interestingly, the victim happened to be a law enforcement officer seated across the aisle from Lopez. After the altercation, Lopez proceeded to move towards the front of the plane, shouting that he would only speak to the FBI. Despite attempts to calm him down, Lopez only relented after being restrained by the flight crew upon landing in Las Vegas.

During questioning by law enforcement, Lopez expressed paranoid beliefs, claiming that he believed the victim was a cartel member sent to harm him and that he had been pursued by the mafia for months. Witnesses on the flight reported observing Lopez behaving erratically, repeatedly putting on and taking off gloves.

Lopez is scheduled to appear in federal court in Las Vegas on March 1 for arraignment.

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