BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A man who drove through a perimeter gate at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport on Saturday afternoon made it onto an airplane with a backpack before authorities could catch up to him and detain him, according to Maryland Transportation Authority Police.
“He did enter an unoccupied aircraft,” MDTA Police spokesman Kevin Ayd tells The Sun.
“The aircraft and the backpack were checked, and there was nothing that was alarming,” he says.
The backpack contained only “papers and personal effects,” and the FBI determined “this was not terrorism related,” Ayd said.
Ayd says the plane was a smaller model aircraft, such as those that are boarded not directly from terminal gates but via stairs on the tarmac. He also says he did not know the owner of the aircraft, or whether it was a major airline.
MDTA Spokesman Kevin Ayd says the incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. when a vehicle broke through the perimeter gate at the Signature Flight Support, which is mostly used for private and charter planes.
MDTA police responded and took Andrew John Kottke, 42, from Laurel, into custody.
Police don’t yet have a motive.
Within hours, the hole in the fence was replaced by concrete barriers, security and police officers.
Court records show just hours before the incident at BWI, a domestic violence case was brought against Kottke in Prince George’s County.
WJZ has also learned Kottke is an accomplished officer. He once received an Officer of the Month award as a Deputy U.S. Marshal.
There was no impact to BWI flight operations.
BWI authorities have ruled the incident isn’t terrorism-related.
“This is still a very active investigation at this time. So we don’t really have much more information to go on, as the investigators go into the reason why the individual did drive onto the, through the security gate,” Ayd says.
Police haven’t released Kottke’s charges.