SALT LAKE CITY: A man has been arrested after crashing his car through two fences and sprinting from police onto a runway at the Salt Lake City airport early Monday.
The 8-minute chase started on a public road near Salt Lake City International at 3 a.m. when an airport police officer tried to stop a car with its bumper dragging.
The driver, who had his license revoked for an alcohol offense, told police he was looking for a place to change a flat tire, according to a police report.
When police asked him to hand over the keys, the man drove off, crashed through the fence lines and onto the tarmac area. The car then crashed into another fence. The driver jumped out and ran to a shed before he was forced to the ground and arrested.
Leo Greene, 39, of Salt Lake City, faces multiple charges, including driving under the influence, fleeing and resisting arrest.
Salt Lake City International Airport officials said no flights or passengers were affected because there wasn’t airfield activity at the time. The fence damages are estimated at $4,500.
“It doesn’t sound very nefarious,” said Dave Korzep, the airport’s superintendent of operations. “Just a lack of common sense, driving under the influence, making wrong choices.”
An Associated Press investigation this month found eight other security perimeter breaches at the airport in the last decade.
None of the 268 security breaches at 31 major U.S. airports between January 2004 and January 2015 that were documented by the AP were terrorism-related.
Airports also say breaches are relatively rare, although intoxicated drivers crashing through barriers is not uncommon.
Officials said Greene suffered minor injuries during the foot chase and was taken to a hospital.
He is also being booked for property damage and driving onto the loading area of an airport, with an open container and on a license revoked for an alcohol-related offense.
The AP sought comment on the charges from Greene, but he was still in police custody. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney.