A man sparked panic at a California airport Friday when he breached security and took a joyride on the taxiway, prompting an entire terminal to close — before he was found hiding in a ceiling and arrested, police said.
The suspect somehow made his way down onto the tarmac at John Wayne Airport in Orange County at around 5:30 p.m., according to the local sheriff’s department.
He allegedly stole an airport vehicle and drove it outside of Terminal C before fleeing on foot, the authorities said.
The breach forced the terminal to go into lockdown and to be evacuated, grounding planes as law enforcement searched for the suspect with low-flying helicopters and police dogs.
Cops eventually discovered that the man had climbed up into a ceiling above a ticketing area by making his way through an abandoned kitchen, CBS Los Angeles reported.
Video from the outlet showed deputies trying to convince the suspect to get down.
After some negotiations, which included passing a bottle of water up into the ceiling, the man agreed to surrender. Footage showed him climbing down a ladder, covered in dust.
He was taken into custody and booked at the Orange County Jail. His name wasn’t immediately released.
The airport later announced that it had reopened, but confirmed delays and cancelations as a result of the wild incident.
The sheriff’s department said it would work with the airport to investigate how the man was able to get onto the airfield.