Runaway Jeep on runway leads to federal charges

Kenneth Richard Mazik
Kenneth Richard Mazik
Posted: June 20, 2012

Federal prosecutors charged a Chadds Ford man today with disrupting services and endangering safety at Philadelphia International Airport on March 1 when he allegedly crashed his Jeep through a gate and raced 100 mph down a runway.

Kenneth Richard Mazik, 24, was arrested by federal authorities on March 12 and has been free on $250,000 bail since April.

He was charged by criminal information, a process which generally indicates a plea deal is in the works.

An FBI arrest affidavit said Mazik crashed his black Jeep Grand Cherokee through a locked gate on the southeast perimeter of the airport as an aircraft was approaching for a landing.

After entering the tarmac, the affidavit said Mazik then turned on to runway 9R, which was the same runway which the incoming aircraft was approaching. The affidavit said Mazik then drove down the runway at speeds in excess of 100 mph, with the aircraft approaching from his rear.

An air traffic controller quickly diverted the aircraft and placed it in a holding pattern.

The affidavit further alleged that Mazik continued to drive his Cherokee even after Philadelphia police officers began pursuing him. He finally stopped on a taxiway adjacent to another runway where he was apprehended by police after a brief scuffle in which two officers were allegedly injured.

Authorities said Mazik's actions caused significant disruption to the operation and services at the airport. The affidavit said 75 aircraft were placed in a holding pattern, and 80 aircraft were prevented from departing at their scheduled times.

A federal magistrate modified Mazik's bail last month, ordering him to reside at his mother's residence with active GPS monitoring.

Contact Michael Hinkelman at 215-854-2656 or hinkelm@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @MHinkelman

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