David Bayle and his wife, Courtney, had just checked in their bags for a flight to California when they heard a loud scream at the top of the escalator. Mr. Bayle said he looked up and saw Lieutenant Neville grabbing the left arm of Mr. Ftouhi and then his waist to detain him.
“It sounded like a howling dog,” said Mr. Bayle, 32, who was visiting family near Flint with their 1-year-old daughter. “We thought it was an unruly passenger, but then I saw the knife.”
As Lieutenant Neville was grabbing Mr. Ftouhi, Mr. Bayle said he could see a long serrated knife in the attacker’s right hand. “It looked like a knife that Rambo would use,” he said.
A group of people ran over to help the officer, who was then on the ground on his hands and knees, Mr. Bayle said. Blood was flowing out of the right side of his neck and onto his uniform and arms.
After being subdued, Mr. Ftouhi asked Lieutenant Neville why he had not killed him, according to court records. The authorities said they believed that the man had acted alone and that they had no indication that he had been trained by any terrorist group.
“Suffice it to say, he has a hatred for the United States and a variety of other things that in part motivated him to come to the airport today and conduct this act of violence,” Mr. Gelios said.
The authorities said that Mr. Ftouhi had legally entered the United States on Friday at Lake Champlain before making his way to Flint. He arrived at the airport Wednesday morning, Mr. Gelios said. Mr. Ftouhi entered on the first level around 8:52 a.m. with a duffel bag and satchel, law enforcement officials said. About 20 minutes later, he rode up an escalator and spent several minutes in a restaurant, the officials said.
He then left…