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Man accused of sneaking onto empty plane cockpit at Albany International Airport

Emily Burkhard
Updated: May 25, 2021 04:50 PM
Created: May 24, 2021 01:32 PM

COLONIE - A Bronx man hopped a security fence and got into a commercial plane at Albany International Airport around 3:30 Monday morning.

Stan Johnson, 23, is charged with two counts of criminal trespassing.

“This individual was out a little bit of a crime spree throughout the day throughout yesterday and into the early hours of this morning,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said. “He allegedly stole a car in Boston drove it to the Bronx, where he resides, abandoned the car down in the Bronx…Got up to Albany, was involved in a domestic dispute where he fled, ended up in the airport where he breached the perimeter fence, was able to also breach a jetway where he then went inside of an airplane."

Apple said that's when Johnson walked up the jetway and into the boarding area, where he was stopped by a TSA agent. When asked why he did it, Johnson said this:

“He wanted to sit in the cockpit and get the same feeling and sensation that they did on 9/11,” Apple recalled.

Apple said the department's K-9 team searched airport and all the planes on the ground, nothing was found.

Johnson was then taken to a local psychiatric facility for a mental health evaluation and released. Information on his arrest was also forwarded to the FBI in Albany

Apple said situations like this one make the flaws in bail reform obvious.

“Unfortunately we could only charge him with a criminal trespass, give him an appearance ticket and send him on his way. to go out and about and probably do more crimes,” Apple said. “And this is just a small incident that occurred, it could've been a larger one…It's painful it's truly painful."

NewsChannel 13 reached out to Doug Myers, spokesman for the airport. He issued this statement:  "We are conducting a full and comprehensive investigation along with Albany County Airport Authority and Transportation Security Administration."


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