A 17-year-old jumped out of the emergency exit and onto the wing of a plane that had just touched down in California on a flight from Central America. The incident happened at about 2:30 P.M. on Aug. 1. He sat in a row adjacent to the emergency exit. After getting through the exit, he climbed down the wing before running onto the tarmac, according to Fox News.
The plane, coming from Panama, had just arrived at San Francisco when passengers started yelling for flight attendants as the teen burst through the emergency exit, Matt Crowder, of Athernon, told KNTV.
The teen was caught by construction workers and held until police arrived to arrest him. It is a federal crime to open an emergency exit without being instructed to by a crew member. The teen’s motivations remain an unknown, though it is reported that he appeared restless on the 7-hour flight.
Cell phone video was captured just after the teen exited the aircraft. It shows the door to the plane open and passengers trying to figure out what happened. A flight attendant appears between the open exit door and the curious passengers.
“I see him jump on the wing and then he starts climbing down the wing and then he just runs. And then he just starts running the other way. And everyone was just screaming,” said 11-year-old passenger Andrea Sepulveda Guzman shortly after the incident, in an interview with CBS San Francisco.
Authorities didn’t disclose the teen’s identity, but were able to confirm that he is a United States citizen. He was traveling on Panama’s Copa Airlines alone at the time of the incident and is currently in police custody.