Security breech at SJ Mineta causes backup

January 14, 2011 12:24:18 AM PST
A San Jose Mineta International Airport terminal was locked down for more than two hours tonight when a woman waiting for a flight left the secure area and tried to re-enter without going through the screening checkpoint, a San Jose police officer said.

The 22-year-old woman was arrested at about 8:30 p.m. after she left Terminal B during a layover and tried to return through the exit, Officer Jose Garcia said.

The woman started out in Dallas but had arrived in San Jose on a flight from Phoenix. She was waiting to catch another plane to Orange County when she somehow left the secure area, Garcia said.

She tried to return through the exit and was detained by Transportation Security Administration officials.

The woman said she had a ticket and a flight to catch, but officials wouldn't let her return, Garcia said.

The terminal immediately went into lockdown mode, and everybody had to clear the area while officials searched for possible weapons, Garcia said.

The sweep was finished at about 11 p.m., and everyone was allowed back inside.

San Jose police cited the woman for misdemeanor trespassing under a law that addresses people who violate security checkpoints at airports, Garcia said.

The TSA is not taking any additional action against her, he said.

One flight that was destined for San Diego was cancelled as a result of the lockdown, Garcia said.