A man released from jail on Memorial Day wound up boarding a plane without a ticket on Tuesday, San Diego Harbor Police said.
United Airlines flight 6323 was bound for Los Angeles from San Diego International Airport when flight attendants counted an extra passenger aboard the plane.
Authorities later learned the man entered the tarmac through an emergency door in the airport’s commuter terminal. Although the alarm sounded, the man quickly made his way through the tarmac and boarded the plane with the other passengers.
A witness said he handed his duffel bag to a flight attendant, saying he urgently needed to use the bathroom. He then sat down in a passenger’s seat.
The flight attendant realized there were too many people on the plane and identified the extra passenger. He was easy to spot, as he looked disheveled and suspicious, according to Nicholas Blasgen, a passenger on the plane.
Passengers were told to get off the plane while dogs sniffed their bags. They all were forced to go through security a second time before taking off.
“How could this happen?” Blasgen asked, “In this day and age when I have to take my shoes off to get on a plane, this guy bypasses everything. What if he had a bomb?”
The man was escorted off the plane peacefully. He was arrested and is now in jail. Harbor police are investigating the incident.
This story originally appeared on NBC San Diego.
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