Man pleads guilty in bid to stop departing jet at Denver airport

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 19, 2015 7:35 PM

DENVER (Reuters) - A 58-year-old man pleaded guilty on Monday to running onto a secured ramp at Denver International Airport in an unsuccessful attempt to halt a departing plane after he arrived late for a flight to attend his high school reunion, prosecutors said.

Marc Rehmar pleaded guilty to misdemeanor tampering and was sentenced to two years of probation for the Aug. 6 incident, said Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

A probable cause affidavit filed by police said Rehmar attempted to stop the United Airlines jet as he saw a tug driver pushing it away from a departing gate.

“After arriving late for his flight and finding the ‘jet-bridge’ doors closed and locked, Rehmar did forcibly push open an alarmed, card-key and code locked door,” the affidavit said.

Rehmar then ran onto the secured area, forced the tug driver to stop and “insisted on boarding the aircraft creating a substantial risk of injury to himself, the tug driver and passengers,” police said.

Rehmar told the arresting officers that he had hoped to fly to Ohio to attend his 40-year high school reunion.

Prosecutors initially charged Rehmar with one count of endangerment of public transportation, a felony, and one misdemeanor count of hindering transportation.

Under a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped the more serious charges in exchange for his guilty plea to the added misdemeanor count of tampering, Kimbrough said.

An airport spokesman said at the time that the incident did not significantly delay the flight or airport operations.

In addition to the probationary sentence, Denver District Court Judge Kenneth Laff ordered Rehmar to perform 100 hours of community service, Kimbrough said.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Eric Walsh)