Chadds Ford man pleads guilty in runway rampage

Kenneth Richard Mazik
Kenneth Richard Mazik
Posted: July 11, 2012

WHEN Kenneth Richard Mazik crashed his black Jeep Grand Cherokee through a locked gate on the perimeter of Philadelphia International Airport on March 1 and drove down two runways, he was "having irrational thoughts that somebody was chasing him," his attorney said after his client pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court.

The Chadds Ford man, who pleaded guilty to disrupting services at the airport and endangering safety, could face 18 to 24 months in a federal lockup when sentenced on Oct. 24. He also will have to pay restitution of $91,272. He remains free on bail with GPS monitoring and is confined to his mother's residence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Albert Glenn said Mazik, 24, a University of Delaware graduate, could also face potential civil enforcement actions by the Transportation Security Administration. The prosecutor said issues related to why Mazik drove on to the runways would be addressed at sentencing.

Mazik, dressed in khaki slacks and a long-sleeve, blue shirt with white stripes, told U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg that he was being treated for depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and had abused the drug Adderall.The government's plea memo said that after Mazik crashed through the airport gate, he drove onto a runway, damaging two runway lights that alert approaching aircraft to the beginning of the runway.

At the time, a passenger plane was on final approach for landing but pulled up as Mazik accelerated and continued to drive the entire 10,500-foot length, according to the plea memo.

Mazik then turned eastbound and on to a second active runway, which was being used for departing passenger planes. Philadelphia police eventually caught up to him. The airport was closed for 30 minutes, and airport personnel had to clean up broken lights and check runways for debris before it reopened, the plea memo said.

Defense attorney Kerry Kalmbach said Mazik was "just attempting to get away from people he thought were after him," adding, "he's a good kid who made some bad choices."

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

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