Man accused of stabbing 3 people on cruise ship headed to Alaska

Cruise ship

JUNEAU, Alaska — A cruise ship worker from South Africa is accused of stabbing three people with scissors and attacking two other people on board a liner traveling through Alaska, authorities said Tuesday.

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According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska, Ntando Sogoni, 35, was arrested on Tuesday in Juneau, Alaska. He was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon within maritime and territorial jurisdiction.

Officials said that Sogoni was employed on the cruise ship and was observed attempting to launch one of the vessel’s lifeboats by other staff members, KTUU-TV reported. He was taken by security personnel to the ship’s medical facility to be evaluated, according to the television station.

According to federal prosecutors, Sogoni allegedly attacked a security guard and a male nurse inside the examination room. The suspect then allegedly went to another exam room where a woman was being examined.

Prosecutors said Sogoni grabbed a pair of scissors and stabbed the woman -- a U.S. citizen -- “multiple times” in the arm, hand and face. Sogoni also allegedly stabbed two security guards who attempted to intervene. One guard was stabbed in the head and the other one was stabbed in the back and shoulders, prosecutors said.

Sogoni was detained and held in the ship’s jail until he was arrested on Tuesday.

The incident occurred approximately 16.5 miles from Vancouver Island, KTUU reported.

According to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Matthew Judy, Sogoni was recently hired by a cruise line and joined the ship, identified by The Associated Press as the Norwegian Encore, in Seattle on Sunday.

The ship left Sunday for a weeklong trip with scheduled stops in Alaska ports and in British Columbia, according to the news organization.

If convicted of the charges Sogoni faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count, prosecutors said.

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