SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a woman arrested three times trying to sneak onto flights at San Francisco International Airport managed to fly from nearby San Jose to Los Angeles without a ticket — the second person to stow away aboard a flight at San Jose’s airport in recent months.
Marilyn Jean Hartman, 62, was arrested on suspicion of trespassing late Monday at LAX after arriving from Mineta San Jose International Airport aboard a Southwest Airlines flight, the San Jose Mercury News reported..
In April, a 15-year-old Somali immigrant hopped a fence at San Jose’s airport and stowed away in the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines flight. Yahya Abdi survived the arduous journey and dropped to the tarmac at a Maui airport about an hour after the plane landed.
San Jose airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes told the Mercury News on Tuesday the incidents were completely unrelated, and the Transportation Security Administration and Southwest were reviewing how Hartman was able to board the flight.
But California Congressman Eric Swalwell, who raised concerns about airport security after April’s breach, said it was an “apparent failure by both airport security and the airline of protecting passengers from a potential threat to their safety.”
“(Hartman) is a known plane hopper,” he said. “She is someone that airport officials should be looking for.”
Hartman was placed on probation in February after being arrested for attempting to board three Hawaii-bound flights departing the San Francisco airport on three separate days, prosecutors said.
On her first arrest, she made it through security and onto a plane only to be caught when the actual ticket holder showed up, officials said. On her second and third attempts, she was caught trying to get through the security line. Authorities arrested her three more times over the next two months at the airport, said San Mateo County sheriff’s spokeswoman Rebecca Rosenblatt. Each time, she had no ticket to fly and told investigators she had nowhere else to go, the Mercury News reported.
In May, Hartman was determined to be suffering from a mental illness and deemed a suitable candidate for a residential mental health program, prosecutors said. She was sentenced to two years supervised probation.
It was not known what treatment, if any, she completed.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said in May that Hartman said she wanted to fly someone warm because she had cancer, though her claims about having the disease were unsubstantiated.
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