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San Diego : Man Arrested in Incident at Airport

A 25-year-old Escondido man, enraged that he missed an airplane flight to Pittsburgh, stopped Lindbergh Field air traffic for 10 minutes early Saturday when he allegedly struck an airline employee, jumped down from a loading ramp and wrestled with police on a runway.

John Martin Geneva, of 335 Lansing Circle Drive in Escondido, was arrested by San Diego Harbor Police on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest and unauthorized entry onto a runway. His bail was set at $3,750.

According to police and an airline spokesman, the incident began at 8:30 a.m., when Geneva arrived too late at Gate 27 to board the 8:25 a.m. USAir flight to Pittsburgh and Washington.

Finding the door to the loading ramp locked, Geneva, who was carrying a briefcase and a pool cue stick, began pounding on a window, authorities said. He then ran down to Gate 25, where passengers were boarding Western Airlines Flight 152 for Los Angeles.

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When the Western gate attendant tried to keep Geneva from boarding the Los Angeles flight, he allegedly struck her in the face with his briefcase, police and a Western spokesman said. The attendant chased Geneva onto the aircraft, and he threatened her with the cue stick before running toward the door and jumping to the ground from the jetway, authorities said.

Geneva then ran onto Runway 27, and was eventually caught by three Harbor Police officers and an American Airlines employee. The enraged Geneva fought with the officers for five minutes before they were able to subdue him and make the arrest, authorities said.

During the chase and struggle, air traffic controllers held up traffic.

The Western spokesman said the gate attendant was treated at a hospital for facial bruises. Harbor Police said they were referring the incident to the FBI because the federal agency may want to make additional criminal charges.

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