Glider over an L.A. County jail prompts airborne pursuit

A hang glider flying near a Los Angeles County jail triggered a slow-moving aerial chase Monday evening, with investigators concerned the glider dropped contraband inside the jail yard.

About 5:40 p.m., a Sheriff’s Department helicopter was called after a power glider was spotted near Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, about 20 miles north of Los Angeles, sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Allen said.

“He was flying low over the jail facilities,” Allen said. “Our concern was he could drop contraband into those facilities.”

Shortly after 6 p.m., the glider landed in the parking lot of a Santa Clarita Valley paintball center, and its operator was detained by sheriff’s deputies for questioning, Allen said.


Investigators are unsure whether the glider deposited contraband inside the all-men’s jail, and officials are unclear about what laws may have been broken, if any.

“It’s an unusual situation,” Allen conceded. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

Get our Essential California newsletter