DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A 70-year-old man faces state and federal charges after a security breach at the Des Moines International Airport Tuesday night that shut down air traffic for a few minutes, police said.
Duane Edwards Sheets drove through the Iowa Air National Guard gates at the airport about 6:30 p.m., leading officers on a chase around the tarmac, officials said.
An armed guard had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit, Des Moines Police Capt. Richard Singleton said.
Lt. Col. Greg Hapgood, spokesman for the Iowa National Guard, said the man drove into airport through an out gate where the 132nd Fighter Wing is stationed.
Hapgood said Wednesday that he didn't know if the gate was opened or closed. A telephone call to the 132nd Fighter Wing public affairs office was not immediately returned.
The guard tried to stop Sheets, but he continued to drive along service roads, hit a fence and was chased by officers onto a working taxiway, Singleton said.
''When he was down along the active runway down here ... they had to shut the airport down to air traffic for a little bit,'' Singleton said. ''They kept him off the main runway, but he was on the taxiway. That was probably the most dangerous part of it,'' he said.
Air traffic was stopped for about 15 minutes.
Singleton said Sheets didn't appear to know what was going on and told police he was looking for a friend, who police said may have been dead for several years.
Sheets faces charges of criminal trespassing, aggravated assault and resisting officers. Federal authorities were planning to charge him, Singleton said.
Dec. 04--Local governments owning airports get a big funding boost if the airports offer commercial flights. The federal government requires airlines to pay a passenger facility charge wherever...
The driver drove the truck through a fence and onto an airport runway. The truck eventually tore through another fence, which remained wrapped around the vehicle as police stopped it.
Officials closed Des Moines International Airport for several hours after a United Airlines plane slid off a taxiway.