Man rushes past security at Fresno airport

There were a few tense moments at Fresno's major airport as a man raced past security checkpoints on Monday.
April 14, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
There were a few tense moments at Fresno's major airport as a man raced past security checkpoints on Monday morning. The man being taken down in cellphone video obtained by Action News is not in police custody.

What's not seen in the video is what happened just before. But, Action News talked with the North Valley man who recorded it. He said the man ran through the security line then grabbed someone's boarding pass. The video shows he didn't get too far.

The man being taken down by TSA agents just after he ran past a security checkpoint is only being identified as a Merced man in his 30s.

"They were right there," said Fresno Yosemite International Airport spokesperson Rhonda Jorn. "I mean the individual didn't get past where the scanners were."

And he didn't get past one passenger's cellphone camera. The passenger, who asked us to only use his first name, was boarding a flight to Las Vegas when the commotion unfolded in front of him. "The guy was yelling at the top of his lungs," Steve said. "I've got a boarding pass; I've got a boarding pass. They took him to the ground eventually."

Steve says the man grabbed another passenger's boarding pass and he rushed through the line. Airport officials tell Action News the man never had his own boarding pass. Officers subdued the man then took him for questioning.

"Got some handcuffs on him, took him to the public safety office where they questioned him, what was going on, why this happened," Jorn said. "He didn't have a boarding pass. He wasn't intending to make a flight."

His intentions are still unclear. The incident comes just one day after a Sacramento-bound flight was forced to land in Nebraska. Investigators say a 23-year-old man became unruly and tried to open the plane door midflight. This, like the Fresno incident, was stopped before anything terrible happened.

The man in Monday's incident is not in custody. Airport officials say he was evaluated by Fresno police assigned to work at the airport and then released to a Merced hospital for a mental health evaluation. His mother told investigators he's already under mental health care.


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