LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A security breach was reported at LAX Saturday evening with reports of a shirtless man on the runway.
CBS2’s Laurie Perez reported from the airport where she said things were tense.
“It was unclear how or where the man got access to the runway,” she reported.
When she arrived at 9 p.m., there was “a long line of police cars” lining a fence along the Westchester Parkway.
LAPD, LAX Police and TSA quickly converged.
The security breach happened just after 8 p.m., police said.
The LAPD said a Southwest pilot was the one who reported the man on the runway and called them immediately.
Police said the man apparently scaled a fence with barbed wire on top. He was on the runway briefly but was able to make his way to the landing gear of a plane loaded with passengers bound for Sacramento.
The man — described as shirtless and in shorts — was able to get his hands on a fire extinguisher, officials said.
“So the captain is on [runway] 24Left,” says LA Airport Police Spokesperson Rob Pedregon, “and he’s about to power up. And he sees a shadow. And immediately an alarm goes off. And with a camera they have on board, they’re able to see this individual just running back towards the fence line.”
Passengers were taken off the plane and put on a new flight as a precaution.
The man was under the influence, police said and “possibly” mentally ill.
The suspect was taken to hospital for a dog bite. A K-9 officer took the suspect down, police said.
He will be charged with trespassing and felony vandalism.