Caught on Camera: Airborne Pursuit After Paraglider's Jail Fly-By

The powered paraglider was in restricted airspace near Pitchess Dentention Center

A midair pursuit began Tuesday after the pilot of a motorized paraglider soared past a jail north of Los Angeles.

Deputies at Pitchess Dentention Center in Castaic reported the flyby in restricted airspace over Castaic, about 40 miles north of Los Angeles. A Los Angeles County Sheriff's helicopter followed the paraglider, which landed a few minutes later at a paintball playing field.

"The aircraft's unusual proximity to the jail and the possible intentions of the pilot necessitated investigation," according to a sheriff's department statement.

Deputies on the ground and in the air tracked the hang glider as it flew along several jail access roads, but not directly over the jail. They used sirens and a public address system to order the pilot to land.

The 67-year-old Northridge pilot was questioned and released.

"He apologized repeatedly and said he was flying in the area and winds blew him to the area near the jail facility," the sheriff's department said in a statement.

The Peter J. Pitchess Detention Center has three county jail facilities, located near the Santa Clarita Valley community of Castaic. The 2,620-acre property is just off the 5 Freeway in northern Los Angeles County.

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