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New details emerge in incident involving Okla. man at Mid-Continent Airport

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at 11:55 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, at 4:17 p.m.

A sheriff’s official Wednesday provided additional details about a weekend incident in which an Oklahoma man drove through a security fence at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

In addition to a handgun in his pickup, authorities also found several knives in the vehicle, said Sedgwick County sheriff’s spokesman Lt. David Mattingly. So far, it appears the man legally had the weapons, Mattingly said.

Mattingly had previously said that security workers found the 26-year-old 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.

On Wednesday, Mattingly said in a statement, “At no time was the suspect on or near the main runways or commercial aircraft at the airport.”

Mattingly said that the man drove on a taxiway and approached a small, private jet. Cessna security staff “quickly arrived and detained the suspect,” and sheriff’s deputies arrested him. Several deputies responded to the incident, Mattingly said. Deputies responded because part of the property involved is in the county.

“The suspect approached the plane and held up papers with unknown writings,” Mattingly said Wednesday, reading from a statement.

Although the man’s motive wasn’t clear, his actions didn’t appear to be terrorist in nature, Mattingly reiterated Wednesday. Federal agencies have been contacted.

The man remained in Sedgwick County Jail on a $15,000 bond. He was being held on suspicion of criminal trespass and criminal damage to property. Detectives plan to present their investigation to prosecutors this week.

Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or tpotter@wichitaeagle.com.

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