Traverse City Man Jumps Airport Fence, Takes Off With Equipment Keys

A man faces several charges for jumping the fence at Cherry Capital Airport.

Traverse City police arrested the man early this morning after he got on to airport property.

“We don’t know what his motive was, why he was doing it. We don’t understand,” says Chief Jeff O’Brien.

A ten foot fence couldn’t keep a Traverse City man from trespassing onto Cherry Capital Airport property early Thursday morning.

“One of the employees called out and told him to come towards him and he didn’t,” O’Brien says. “He started running towards the airport, towards the runaway. Subsequently went all the way across the airport, the runway, to Bill Marsh Buick.”

Police were able to catch the man, finding keys to an airport trucks and marijuana in his pockets.

They arrested him for unlawful driving away of a car, stealing from a car, possessing marijuana and trespassing.

“Anytime you have someone trespass at an airport then it involves a lot of federal agencies,” says airport director, Kevin Klein. “The FBI, the Transportation Security Administration, homeland security, all to make sure that there’s not a greater threat. In this particular case it was an isolated incident, but they all want to make sure it’s not a bigger threat.”

No one was hurt and no flight schedules were impacted, but it was still a breach of airport security.

“There is all kinds of hazards at an airport. That’s one of the reasons why there is a ten foot fence, and you know unfortunately when you’re dealing with people that are intoxicated you can create as many barriers as you can and they still will climb them,” Klein says.

“We’re going to have to find out what his intent was, why he was in the truck,” O’Brien says. “Definitely out of the ordinary.”