(OMAHA, Neb.) — A man being chased by police after breaching a security gate at Omaha, Nebraska’s Eppley Airfield airport Thursday night, proceeded to strip down to his boxer shorts, steal a truck on the runway and ram it into the nose of a Southwest Airlines aircraft, authorities said.
The incident kicked off around 9:30 p.m. when officers at Eppley Airfield encountered a man in front of the airport acting “bizarre” and screaming that people were trying to kill him, Tim Conahan, chief of police for the Omaha Airport Authority, told ABC News.
With officers in pursuit, the man — whose identity remains unknown — ran into a parking garage, exited through another entrance and scaled a fence onto a runway, and jumped into an unlocked Southwest pickup truck which had its engine running, Conahan said. During the chase, the man stripped down to his boxers.
He then proceeded to drive the pickup truck across the north ramp until police cut him off. Undeterred, he doubled back and drove under the jet bridge of a Southwest aircraft that was boarding passengers, and crashed into its nose gear, said Conahan. According to Southwest, there were approximately 18 passengers onboard the Denver-bound Boeing 737 at the time of the incident.
The pilot, who was in the cockpit, suffered a bump to the knee, while a flight attendant suffered a bump to the elbow. The man suffered “minor injuries” from climbing over the barbed wire fence and from the impact of the crash, Conahan said.
Following the incident, Southwest said in a statement, “We are removing the aircraft from service to inspect for damage. We are replacing the crew and the aircraft, and the flight is expected to operate with an approximate three-hour delay.”
The man driving the vehicle was taken into police custody.
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