Erratic Driver Rams Pickup Through Van Nuys Airport Fence, Strikes Aircraft

A man driving erratically rammed a pickup truck through a fence at Van Nuys Airport and struck a parked aircraft on Friday, officials said.

The suspect was later identified as 45-year-old Jesus Ortega, who was booked on two counts of felony vandalism and one count of trespassing onto an airfield. 

The incident occurred around 10:30 a.m. after reports of a person who was driving on the service road at the airport, located in the 16000 block of Sherman Way, according to Jess Romo, manager of the Van Nuys Airport.

Ortega gained access through an unauthorized perimeter gate and pushed through, Romo said. The driver then sped across the other side of the airport and struck an aircraft. He also forced one other plane to divert.

Ortega was described as "disoriented" by police, as he zig-zagged through the airport before being spotted by an air traffic controller. 

Airport authorities said no one was hurt, and that this incident did not appear to be an attack or act of terrorism. 

Drugs or alcohol were not involved, according to police, and authorities say they are still investigating the incident for a possible motive.

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