Security Breach Closes Long Beach Airport

Long Beach Airport was briefly shut down Monday after a man who was later arrested on a drug charge ran away from a security screening, authorities said.

The 90-minute shutdown allowed planes to arrive but kept passengers from leaving the flights or boarding departing planes, said airport spokeswoman Sharon Diggs-Jackson. Six flights were delayed.

The man was detained a mile from the airport and was arrested on suspicion of possession of narcotics, police spokeswoman Nancy Pratt said. His identity was not immediately released.

Shortly after 6 a.m., the ticketed passenger passed a metal detector at the airport, which is 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. Federal screeners noticed his baggy clothing and decided to search him, Officer Juan Gomez said.

The man asked to use the bathroom and was escorted there, but after returning, he ran out a side door onto the airport tarmac before he could be searched, Gomez said.

About an hour after the man fled, police received a call about a suspicious person at an intersection and found the man, who was identified as the passenger, he said.

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