Man sentenced for crashing Jeep at Philadelphia airport

Kenneth R. Mazik cited addictionto Adderall.
Kenneth R. Mazik cited addictionto Adderall.
Posted: October 26, 2012

A Chester County man who stoked terrorism fears when he crashed his Jeep through a locked fence and onto runways at Philadelphia International Airport in March was sentenced Wednesday to 16 months in federal prison.

Kenneth R. Mazik, 25, of Chadds Ford, blamed the March 1 incident on what he said were delusions caused by an addiction to the behavioral drug Adderall.

"I was operating in a different space and time," he told U.S. District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg.

The judge acknowledged that Mazik was possibly in a drug-induced psychosis at the time. But he said the crime and the threat were too serious not to warrant a prison term.

"I know this is going to sound odd, but you're very lucky," Goldberg told him. "This could've been a disaster of the highest proportions - and you'd be in jail for the rest of your life."

The airport was shut down for 30 minutes after Mazik plowed through the locked fence along the airport perimeter and began speeding down a runway.

A plane with 39 passengers was on its final approach to that runway and had to abruptly pull up. The ensuing delays impacted more than 60 flights in Philadelphia.

Mazik crashed into runway lights and just missed striking an antenna used to coordinate landings. He ultimately was arrested by Philadelphia and airport police.

Mazik pleaded guilty in July to a single count of disrupting airport operations. Federal sentencing guidelines had recommended a term of 18 to 24 months. In a memo to the judge, Assistant U.S. Attorney Albert S. Glenn asked for a punishment in that range.

"This was a very serious offense and put a lot of people in danger," Glenn said.

Mazik's lawyer, R. Kerry Kelmbach, argued that Mazik, a 2009 graduate of the University of Delaware and father of a 2-year-old son, had no significant criminal history, spent a month in a drug-treatment center after the incident, and has been a model citizen since then.

Kelmbach said Mazik began taking Adderall after being diagnosed as a student with Attention Deficit Disorder but has been drug-free since his arrest.

The judge expressed concern that Mazik continued to frequent websites that traffic in conspiracy theories, suggesting that may have played a role in the crime.

Goldberg also ordered Mazik to pay $91,000 in restitution that covered damage to runway lights and the fence, as well as airline delay costs.


Contact John P. Martin at 215-854-4774 or jmartin@phillynews.com, or follow @JPMartinInky on Twitter.

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