Man detained after seizing vehicle on tarmac at John Wayne Airport, prompting lockdown


Operations have resumed at John Wayne Airport in Orange County after a man seized a vehicle and attempted to enter a terminal Friday, prompting evacuations and a lockdown, airport officials said.

At around 5:30 p.m., an airport staff member identified a man who gained access to a vehicle and was driving around the airfield, said Carrie Braun a public information officer for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The employee contacted law enforcement after he saw the individual exit the vehicle and attempt to enter the terminal, Braun said.

The airport was then placed on lockdown, leading to the evacuation of all of secured areas.

Deputies preformed a sweep of the terminal and noticed debris on the upper-level floor between terminals B and C, Braun said.

It was determined that the individual, only identified as a male adult, had made his way into the ceiling.

The individual was then located in the ceiling on the non-secure side of the terminal, OCSD said in a statement.

Authorities reached the man and a ladder was provided for him to climb down on before taking him into custody.

It was not clear if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the incident, officials said.

Aerial video showed a firetruck and an ambulance SUV were stationed outside the terminal around 8 p.m.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m., the airport tweeted that the terminal and all security checkpoints had reopened.

Passengers could expect flight delays and cancellation, the airport said. They were advised to check with their airline.

An investigation is underway.

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