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Okla. man arrested at Mid-Continent Airport after driving truck through fence

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at 8:49 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, June 3, 2014, at 3:33 p.m.

Authorities said Tuesday its remains unclear why an Oklahoma man drove through a fence at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport over the weekend.

Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. David Mattingly said security personnel found the 26-year-old Marlow, Okla., man “talking to himself” about 12:30 a.m. Sunday after he apparently rammed a pickup through a fenced-in area near the 6800 block of West K-42.

The man, Mattingly said, drove on an airport taxiway and approached a small, private jet before authorities caught him. He later was arrested by sheriff’s deputies called to the scene, Mattingly said. Authorities recovered a handgun in the truck.

Sheriff’s detectives still “were trying to contact” the man Tuesday to determine his motives, Mattingly said. He did not think the man’s actions were terrorist in nature.

The airport shares at least some of the breached area with Cessna Aircraft Co., Mattingly said.

The man remained in Sedgwick County Jail on Tuesday evening in lieu of $15,000 bond. He is being held on suspicion of criminal trespass and criminal damage to property.

Mattingly did not know whether the man would face any federal charges. As of Tuesday, he had not been charged in Sedgwick County District Court.

Sunday’s break-in is among at least three recent incidents leading to arrests at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

Early Monday morning authorities arrested a 64-year-old man who tried to pass an airport checkpoint with a loaded .22-caliber Derringer in his carry-on bag. He was jailed on suspicion of carrying a concealed firearm.

In December, following a sting operation, FBI agents captured 58-year-old Terry Lee Loewen, an avionics technician accused of trying to carry out a suicide bombing on the airport. Loewen is facing federal charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted use of an explosive device to damage property, and attempted material support to the terrorist group al-Qaida.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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