San Rafael Marine Recruit Darts Across San Diego Airport Runway

Suspect had reported to nearby MCRD just three days earlier

A U.S. Marine recruit from San Rafael faces felony and misdemeanor chargers for jumping over two barbed-wire fences and running on the tarmac of San Diego’s airport.

San Diego harbor police got word from the Lindbergh Tower that a man had run on the tarmac by Gate 6 in Terminal 1 at 6:20 a.m. Thursday.

He attempted to hide in a service vehicle that belongs to the janitorial department.

"He had quite a few cuts on him and at the time that we found him he had actually taken his pants off so he was in his boxer shorts and his Marine Corps T-shirt," said Harbor Police Lt John Forsythe.

In aerials from our sister station's NBC 7 San Diego news helicopter, the white van could be seen parked in front of a Southwest airliner connected to the gate. The vehicle was surrounded by airport maintenance vehicles.

Military police were called because the suspect was a 22-year-old Marine recruit from the nearby Marine Corps Recruit Depot. The unidentified man arrived to the training center from San Rafael Jan. 14 officials said.

"Everything we said to him it was: 'Yes sir! Yes sir! 'That was all he pretty much said to us," Forsythe said. "It took us a while to get his name and everything else like that."

Flights were not affected according to airport officials.

The incident posed no threat to passengers or the public officials said.

But the breach of security was on a topic of conversation for many passengers inside the terminal.

"What are you running out there for?! What is calling you to the actual runway to make you want to go out there? And it's terrifying just knowing somebody would want to do that," said air traveler Mo Owens.

"I think that probably the security at the airport is very good," passenger Tom Solari said. "I feel comfortable. I'm not worried at all."

The suspect was transported to the Naval Medical Center San Diego in Balboa Park via ambulance with a military police vehicle following close behind.

The recruit reported to MCRD just three days ago and was in the initial processing phase. He had not begun recruit training military officials said.

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