Man arrested after chase at airport in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Police have arrested a 39-year-old man they say breached security and commandeered an airport work truck at Mineta San Jose International Airport on Sunday.

Airport spokesperson Rosemary Barnes says a call came in around 10:15 a.m. Sunday to report a man was walking on a ramp or tarmac on the west side of the airport, off of Coleman Avenue.

It happened at Atlantic Aviation's private jet facility on the west side of Mineta San Jose International Airport.

It is unknown how the man got on airport property. Officials say passengers were never in any danger, but this latest security breach is raising a lot of red flags.

"I wasn't sure if he was on the tarmac. All I know is he jumped into one of the trucks and took off," one airport maintenance employee said.

Sgt. Heather Randol says airport staff spotted Miguel Zaragoza near a restricted loading ramp and escorted him into a nearby building. While they were waiting for police to arrive, the suspect bolted outside and ran across the parking lot, where he found a maintenance worker.

"He asked the airport maintenance worker for a ride to the terminal. The answer was no, so he proceeded to somehow get into the maintenance vehicle and drive on the street side to the airport terminal," San Jose International Airport spokesperson Rosemary Barnes said.

Airport maintenance crews are shocked that a fellow employee got his truck stolen by Zaragoza.

Police say Zaragoza drove down Coleman Avenue in that stolen truck and made his way curbside to Terminal B where he was arrested by police.

They say the suspect was acting strangely and may have been under the influence of drugs.

ABC7 News spoke with a maintenance worker who said nobody got hurt. Maintenance crews call the incident scary and it's not the first time.

This security breach is the third one this year. In April, a 15-year-old boy got onto the taxiway and stowed away inside the wheel well of Hawaiian Airlines jet, surviving a five hour flight to Maui.

And in August, Marilyn Hartman slipped past security and a boarding gate at Mineta San Jose International Airport and flew to Los Angeles without a ticket.

The most recent breach is still raising the question of how Zaragoza got onto Atlantic Aviation's flightline.

"Still working with TSA, you know the airport, we'll work together with all of those partners to determine how he got on the airport," Barnes said.

Airport officials say Zaragoza never reached a runway and the incident had no effect on passengers or operations.

The airport says it's investigating.

The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.
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