Feds charge man for Philadelphia airfield invasion

March 4, 2012 12:49:13 PM PST
The U.S. Attorney for Philadelphia announced charges on Friday against a Delaware County man who allegedly drove his Jeep through a fence and onto the airfield at Philadelphia International Airport.

Kenneth Richard Mazik, 24, of Chadds Ford, was charged with disrupting the services of Philadelphia International Airport and, in so doing, endangering the safety at that airport, United States Attorney Zane Memeger said in a statement.

The incident happened just after 10:00 a.m. Thursday.

That statement alleges that Mazik crashed his black Jeep Grand Cherokee through a locked gate at Gate 25 near Hog Island Road at the west end of the airport - as a plane was approaching for a landing.

Authorities say that after entering the airfield, Mazik turned onto runway 9R, the same runway that incoming aircraft was approaching.

Witnesses told Action News on Thursday that Mazik was parked outside the gate apparently waiting for one of the planes to come in for a landing. As an incoming plane approached he then allegedly accelerated - blasting through the gate and onto airport property.

RAW VIDEO:Video of PHL airfield chase

Investigators say Mazik then drove down the runway at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, with the plane approaching from the rear. The plane was diverted and placed into a holding pattern.

In an affidavit, airport personnel estimated that the plane was only about 500 feet above the runway when it was diverted.

Mazik continued to drive, investigators say, even after Philadelphia police began pursuing him. His vehicle finally came to a stop near runway 27R.

RAW AUDIO: PHL control tower: 'Vehicle on runway'

During that time, officials say, 75 planes were kept in a holding pattern and another 80 flights were grounded.

The statement goes on to say that while police were trying to put Mazik in a holding cell he resisted, causing injury to two officers.

If convicted, Mazik faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Mazik was previously charged on the state level with Driving Under the Influence, Recklessly Endangering another Person, Resisting Arrest and related offenses.

He was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for observation and drug and alcohol tests.

This isn't the first time Mazik has had a run-in with the law.

Three state troopers showed up on Mazik's doorstep in Chadds Ford the night of October 18th. They had been called by his former girlfriend.

According to the court documents, she said Mazik told her that he was going to kill himself and blow his chest out.

The police were concerned, because she also told them that Mazik owns numerous firearms kept throughout the house. The woman told police she was the mother of Mazik's 14 month old son.

According to the police report, she said Mazik's mental health had been deteriorating lately to the point she was in fear of him.

When police tried to talk to Mazik, they say he became violent and struggled with them. He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Mazik had another run in with police last November when he was charged with defiant trespassing at the Chester County Hospital.