DUI Driver Speeds onto Philly International Runway: Police

A civilian Jeep sped onto the runway of the Philadelphia International Airport Thursday, driven by a drunken driver, police say

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    A Delaware County man is facing serious charges after a security breach at Philadelphia International Airport. The man is accused of driving his jeep onto the airport runway while intoxicated.

    An allegedly intoxicated man somehow managed to drive a civilian vehicle onto the runway at Philadelphia International Airport Thursday morning, authorities say.

    Police were called after the black Jeep Cherokee drove into the airfield at about 10 a.m, sources tell NBC10 Philadelphia.

    Security Scare at Airport

    [PHI] Security Scare at Airport
    Police say an intoxicated 24-year-old Kenneth Mazik of Chadds Ford was behind the wheel of a Jeep Grand Cherokee that drove through Gate 25 and onto one of the main runways at Philadelphia International Airport, bringing air traffic to a stop.

    The driver was identified as 24-year-old Kenneth Richard Mazik of Chadds Ford, Pa. He will be charged with driving under the influence, risking a catastrophe, fleeing police, reckless endangerment, defiant trespass, assault on law enforcement and simple assault.

    According to police, the whole incident lasted no longer than five minutes, and authorities took Mazik into custody at 11:13 a.m.

    Cell Phone Video of Jeep on Runway

    [PHI] Cell Phone Video of Jeep on Runway
    Cell phone camera captures video of a Jeep driving down a runway at Philadelphia International Airport.

    Sources tell NBC10 Philadelphia that the Jeep drove through a fence on the airfield and police chased the vehicle down the runway.

    Authorities stopped all inbound and outbound air traffic — about 15 to 20 planes were affected — while police searched the Jeep for explosives. None were found, sources say.

    Intoxicated Driver Speeds onto Airport Runway: Cops

    [PHI] Intoxicated Driver Speeds onto Airport Runway: Cops
    Kenneth Richard Mazik was allegedly intoxicated when he drove his vehicle onto the runway at Philadelphia International Airport Thursday morning, authorities said. All inbound and outbound air traffic was stopped for a short period of time. Police say the driver will be charged with driving under the influence and reckless endangerment. NBC10's Marisa Brahney reports the details.

    Authorities then stopped all inbound and outbound air traffic for a short period of time.

    “I don’t trust this guy are you ok if we pull off the runway here in case he comes right at us,” one pilot asked air traffic control.

    AUDIO: Air Traffic Control Sees Jeep on Runway

    [PHI] AUDIO: Air Traffic Control Sees Jeep on Runway
    "I don't trust this guy are you OK if we pull off the runway here in case he comes right at us," a pilot asked Air Traffic Control after spotting an alleged drunken driver on the runway at the Philadelphia International Airport Thursday.

    The FAA says the airport shut down for about 35 minutes Thursday morning after the vehicle was driven onto the tarmac. At the time of the incident, the FAA announced that some arriving flights were delayed an average of 34 minutes because of "security" issues.

    This is the black Jeep that Kenneth Mazik drunkenly drove across the tarmac at Philadelphia International Airport, police say:

    Philadelphia International Airport released the following statement regarding the incident:

     

    On March 1, 2012, just after 1100 AM, there was an incident involving a civilian who rammed a locked and secured perimeter gate at PHL with his personal vehicle and entered the airfield.

    FAA Air Traffic Control was alerted by their ground radar and acted quickly to stop all air traffic to avoid any conflicts. 

    Law enforcement agencies and Airport operations and security were immediately notified and this person was apprehended within 5 minutes.  The driver is in custody and Police report charges are pending. 

    The Airport’s airfield perimeter security fencing meets or exceeds all federally mandated standards and our airfield is secure.  While this was a very rare incident, the various layers of security interacted extremely well to bring this incident to a safe conclusion.

    We continually review Airport safety and security procedures with the TSA, Airport Police, FAA and other federal agencies.