Transient Detained After Jumping Fence at LAX, Heading Toward Plane: Officials

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A man was taken into custody Monday afternoon after he hopped a fence surrounding Los Angeles International Airport, triggering a massive police response, officials stated.

Witnesses said the man was acting strangely before he jumped a perimeter fence surrounding the tarmac and began heading toward a departing Delta plane. At one point, he was seen doing push-ups on a runway.

Police quickly detained the man, but the ensuing investigation shut down the tarmac for a time, impacting incoming and outbound flights.

The suspect is believed to be a transient, in his late 20s or early 30s, but officials were still trying to ascertain his identity, LAX Airport Police Officer Rob Pedregon told KTLA.

The officer added that the man may have mental health problems and could face trespassing charges.

Tom Ruffing, who was visiting from Ohio, said he saw the bizarre episode unfold from the In-N-Out on Sepulveda Boulevard.

"All of a sudden, there was 20 police cars here. He was out there under the plane, jumping up, trying to touch the plane. It was different," he said.

Ruffing added that he could hear officials discussing the security breach over their radios.

They relayed that a man was running across the runway, and ordered the pilot of the nearby airplane to shut down the aircraft's engines.

The man's intentions were not immediately clear. As a precautionary measure, officials swept the area around the aircraft to ensure that nothing was tampered with, which impacted inbound and outbound flights because they had to move the runway to another area, according to Pedregon.

The officer also confirmed that a full inspection of the plane was conducted for anything that may have been placed around or inside it. An explosives detection team also scoped out the fence perimeter.

Officials are now investigating how the man was able to breach security in the first place, and what measures to take to prevent similar actions in the future.

KTLA's Brian Day and Juan Flores contributed to this report.

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