Man Arrested After Making His Way Onto LAX Runway

A man who had made his way onto a runway at Los Angeles International Airport Saturday evening was arrested minutes after being spotted, an airport police officer said.

The man was spotted about 7:45 p.m. on 24 left runway, Los Angeles Airport police Officer Rob Pedregon said. Police identified the man as 31-year-old Downey resident Eduardo Hernandez.

A Southwest Air captain reportedly spotted the intruder before hearing an alarm go off, signaling something was wrong with the aircraft.

"Officers arrested the man minutes after he was seen," Pedregon said.

Airport Police rushed out to Runway 24 Left -- on the north side of the airport -- and found a man who had scaled the 12-foot fence that surrounds the airfield.

"He actually reached into the wheel well and pulled a fire extinguisher line which caused an alarm to go off," LAX Police spokesman Rob Pedregon said.

Officials caught up with Hernandez as he tried to escape from the tarmac and he was bitten by a police dog.

Pedregon said their initial investigation has shown that Hernandez was "under the influence of some kind of narcotic or had mental illness." He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

He will be booked on a trespassing charge and may face other charges, Pedregon said.

The passengers were loaded onto another Southwest flight which took off for Sacramento within about an hour of the incident. The original plane is being repaired.

NBC4's Angie Crouch and Kim Baldonado contributed to this report.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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