Jeff Neil, a former bouncer turned software company employee, was recently awarded the “Citizen Award” by his hometown police department in Exeter, New Hampshire, for stopping a man from attacking a flight attendant with a broken metal spoon on a United Airlines Flight 2609. The attacker, Francisco Severo Torres, was trying to open the plane’s door when Neil and several other passengers rushed to the attendant’s aid, tackled Torres, and held him down until the plane landed in Boston. The incident was captured on video by a fellow passenger. Although Neil doesn’t consider himself a hero, he acknowledged the significance of what happened and was praised by Exeter Police Chief Stephan Poulin, who said Neil “exemplified what it means to be both a hero and a leader”. Torres awaits a mental health evaluation.

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