Reporting Elizabeth Hur
By Elizabeth Hur
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Only on CBS 3 — there are new developments surrounding the suspect charged with creating a major security scare at Philadelphia International Airport.
We’re now hearing from the suspect’s attorney — who says his client meant no harm when he crashed through a gate and drove on several runways.
According to Kenneth Mazik’s attorney, Kerry Kalmbach, what happened is the result of his client making some irrational decisions. We’re told, Mazik does not have a history of any serious mental issues and now that he realizes his actions caused significant disruptions at the airport, he is remorseful.
Authorities say 24-year-old Mazik crashed through airport gate 25 just as soon as he spotted a plane preparing to land. Prosecutors say he made a beeline for the runway and his speed topped 100 miles per hour. Prosecutors say the descending plane was about 500 feet above the runway when it was finally diverted and police caught up with Mazik.
“He’s upset with himself to the point that anyone may have been harmed or caused any type of inconvenience. He specifically never intended to do that,” Kalmbach said.
Only Eyewitness News was there when Mazik was brought into the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. It happened on the morning of March 1st and according Kalmbach, his client was not drunk but it is unclear if he was under the influence of any drugs.
“It’s my understanding that he’s been having some difficulty a few months before this incident with the medication that he was on, the Adderall and I know that his medication was changed at one point and what effect that has I don’t know,” Kalmbach said.
Kalmbach describes Mazik as a loving father of a young son who is well liked by family and neighbors. When asked why Mazik did what he did, Kalmbach offered this explanation.
“He believed that there were people that were chasing him and he was attempting to get away for his own safety and to get away from those people. I’m not even certain he at the time realized what he was doing,” Kalmbach added, “I hope that things will become clear and he’ll be charged and judged on exactly what happened and reasons why.”
Prosecutors allege, Mazik injured police officers, damaged airport property and significantly disrupted airport operations. His actions, authorities say, forced 75 planes to be placed in a holding pattern and caused 80 flight delays.
Right now, Mazik is facing serious federal charges which, if convicted, carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. This week, Mazik was ordered to undergo mental health and psychiatric evaluations. He’s due back in court next Friday.