Man Held After Running in Oncoming Jet's Path

A 22-year-old Sun Valley man was arrested Tuesday after he ran across a runway at Burbank Airport, forcing an approaching jetliner to abort a landing, an airport spokesman said.

About 9:50 a.m., Dalton C. Escobar, who was apparently making inquiries about a job cleaning private aircraft on the general aviation side of the airfield, ran across the runway as a shortcut, said Victor Gill, the airport's director of public relations.

"For some unknown reason, he decided to go on foot instead of having the common sense to get around some other way," Gill said.

An air traffic controller in the tower spotted the man crossing the runway about 9:50 a.m. and radioed the pilot of an America West Boeing 737, which was arriving from Phoenix.

The America West pilot, who was within 100 feet of the ground on a landing approach, shot over the runway without touching down and climbed away from the airport, Gill said.

The plane circled and landed safely a few minutes later, Gill said.

Escobar was detained by airport personnel and turned over to Los Angeles police, who discovered that he was wanted on a $5,000 warrant for driving with a suspended license and held him at the North Hollywood station jail, Sgt. Bruce Biersborn said.

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