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Passenger who helped end rampage on flight to Boston honored in New Hampshire

Jeff Neil honored by Exeter for heroic actions on United Airlines flight
Jeff Neil honored by Exeter for heroic actions on United Airlines flight 00:28

EXETER, N.H. - A man who helped stop a rampage on a flight to Boston earlier this month was honored in New Hampshire Friday.

Jeff Neil was one of the passengers flying from Los Angeles to Logan Airport on United Flight 2609 back on March 5.

With about an hour left on the flight, prosecutors say Francisco Severo Torres,33, of Leominster, tried to open an emergency door and then tried to stab a flight attendant with a broken spoon.

Neil was part of a group of passengers who helped restrain Torres until the flight landed. No one was hurt. Torres was arrested.

Neil, who lives in Exeter, New Hampshire, was honored by the police department there Friday for his heroism. He was given a crystal plaque citizen award.

Jeff Neil was honored by Exeter, New Hampshire police, March 24, 2023.  Exeter, NH Police

"Mr. Neil's actions that day are a reminder that everyday heroes live among us, here in Exeter and in communities all across the globe. They quietly go about their daily lives, but when a crisis unexpectedly presents itself and they feel compelled to act, they will respond without hesitation," Exeter Police Chief Stephan Poulin said in a statement.

Neil, who is a former bouncer, said he's not a hero, but admitted he "was in the right place at the right time." 

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