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Man Breaches Security At SFO, Runs Onto Tarmac

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KPIX 5) -- A man who appeared to be under the influence of some substance breached a secure area at San Francisco International Airport Wednesday, running onto the tarmac and leading police on a wild foot chase until he was caught.

Cell phone video looks like something right out of a Hollywood action comedy. In it, the man who has just hopped a security fence is on the run with police officers close behind.

But the man didn't give up that easily. He bolts away and officers spend the next 90 seconds trying to corral him.

At one point an officer opens the passenger door of a police car and almost hits him.

Then a police SUV nearly hit the man, but he dodged out of the way just in time.

SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said the incident began a few minutes earlier up at the Southwest ticket counter at Terminal One.

"[It] was a police response to an individual who appeared to be under the influence of a substance," explained Yakel.

Witnesses said the man had been sitting on a bench with his beanie nearly pulled over his eyes and making odd, jerking motions with his head.

Southwest agents called security, but then the man took off running down the terminal, jumping over the black line dividers like an Olympic hurdler. Other officers who tried the same maneuver tripped and fell.

The man then ran outside through traffic and jumped from the upper level down to the lower level - a height of about 30 feet – and kept on running.

"Who survives that kind of thing?" said traveler Dan Callies. "Someone who's crazy. Someone who has no fear. Adrenaline kicks and gets you going."

The man finally gave up and laid on the ground, where officers arrested him.

It's not clear how he got onto the tarmac, but his hands were cut, so he may have injured them on barb or razor wire.

"Every incident like this, every access control event as we call it, is a learning opportunity as well," said Yakel. "We're focused on continuous improvements so we want to learn what we can from this incident and that will be our focus moving forward."

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