The man who authorities say drove his SUV through a locked gate and onto the tarmac of Philadelphia International Airport earlier this year could face up to 20 years in prison after being federally charged with disrupting service and endangering airport safety.
Kenneth Mazik made national headlines March 1 when he allegedly drove his Jeep Grand Cherokee onto a runway at Philly International and towards plane traffic.
The U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger announced Tuesday that the 24-year-old Chadds Ford, Pa. man could face a prison sentence of 20 years, three years supervised release, restitution and up to a $250,000 fine if he is found guilty of disrupting services at the airport.
According to an affidavit, Mazik crashed his Jeep through a locked gate as an airplane approached for landing and then drove his vehicle at a high-rate of speed down an runway as a plane approached. The plan had to be diverted into a holding pattern, according to the U.S. Attorney.
The affidavit went on to allege "that Mazik continued to drive his Cherokee even after the Philadelphia Police began pursuing him. Finally, Mazik stopped on a taxiway adjacent to runway 27R. Mazik’s actions caused significant disruption to the operation and services of the airport and caused financial expense and losses."
Mazik was facing charges of DUI, criminal mischief and assault charges, among others, in the city of Philadelphia but the city dropped all of those charges so that federal authorities could take over the case.
The Chadds Ford man was set to undergo a mental evaluation and remains incarcerated.
Philadelphia Police say the 24-year-old was under the influence when he plowed his way through a gate and on to the runway forcing all inbound and outbound air traffic to screech to a halt at about 11 a.m. that Thursday.