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Man Arrested After Jumping Fence at LAX and Running Toward Plane, Setting Off Alarm: Police

A man who police said set off a fire alarm at Los Angeles International Airport after he ran toward a plane just taking off on Saturday has been arrested, according to authorities.

A view of Los Angeles International Airport on Feb. 10, 2018, when police said a man left a departing plane and got onto a runway. He was arrested shortly after. (Credit: KTLA)

A view of Los Angeles International Airport on Feb. 10, 2018, when police said a man left a departing plane and got onto a runway. He was arrested shortly after. (Credit: KTLA)

No one was injured in the incident, according to LAX police, and the man did not make any threats and was not armed. Police said there appears to be no threat to the airport as a whole.

While police initially said the man was on the plane, officials later clarified that he had actually run toward the plane after jumping an airport fence. An alarm went off after he pulled a fire extinguisher from an area on the exterior of the plane, LAX police said.

At around 7:48 p.m., a pilot on the plane had spotted a shadow that was coming "across a grassy area" and up to the landing gear of the plane, according to Rob Pedregon, an LAX police spokesman.

"Shortly thereafter, an alarm went off in the cockpit," he told KTLA.

Through a camera under the aircraft, the pilot saw a man pull a fire extinguisher in from the plane, in the wheel well, authorities said. He could also see the man going back to the gate area through the camera, Pedregon said.

An investigation soon found that the man had jumped over a fence along the perimeter of the airport and rushed toward the plane before setting off the fire alarm, according to Pedregon.

He said the man appears to be under the influence of some drug or substance or may be mentally ill. When officers confronted him, he told them that he was "trying to get back to Downey," Pedregon said.

The plane involved in the incident was sent back to the airport to have K-9 units sweep through it, according to police.

The flight was just leaving its terminal when the incident happened, police said. After the incident, it was powered down and brought back to the gate where it was departing.

No flights were delayed except the one involved, and Southwest is the only airline affected.

KTLA's Meghan McMonigle contributed to this article.

Correction: An earlier version of this article made an error in regards to the man's proximity to the plane. The man never actually got onto the plane. The article has since been updated.