Friday, August 31, 2007

Local arrested at airport


Authorities used a Taser gun to subdue a 20-year-old Santa Barbara man who ran onto the tarmac at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport Wednesday evening, booking him for trespassing and resisting arrest.
Airport and police officials said Justin Hill ran past security at the baggage claim near Skywest Airlines at 8:54 p.m.

"He ran toward an airplane, but the flight crew and employees prevented him from getting on the plane," Airport Operations Manager Tracy Lincoln said. "They stopped him at the steps."
Lincoln said passengers had just left the small, 30-seat commuter plane when Hill ran toward it and attempted to climb on board. After initially cooperating with airport police, he started to resist and officers Tasered and cuffed him, Lincoln said.
Santa Barbara police followed Hill to the hospital and booked him into County Jail after he received medical treatment.
"He had a knife in his possession at the time of the incident and at the hospital," Santa Barbara Police Lt. Armando Martel said, adding that Hill did not display or use the knife at any time and won't be charged for having it.
Lt. Martel said police officials believe the 20-year-old may suffer from mental illness, adding that Hill will receive attention from mental health workers at the jail. Airport officials said they don't recall any incidents similar to this in the recent past.
"We've had people who'll hop the fence and try to take a shortcut across the airfield," Lincoln said. "But no one running toward an airplane."

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