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2012 Year in Review: Security Scare at Philadelphia International Airport

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(Philadelphia police stand guard on March 1st after a man in a Jeep crashed through a gate at Philadelphia International Airport and drove onto a runway.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Philadelphia police stand guard on March 1st after a man in a Jeep crashed through a gate at Philadelphia International Airport and drove onto a runway. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

John McDevitt John McDevitt
John McDevitt has been a reporter and editor at KYW Newsradio 1060...
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By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There was security scare last March at Philadelphia International Airport after a man rammed vehicle through a locked gate and drove onto an active runway.

“He’s heading right for you — he’s on two-seven left….” a security official said via walkie-talkie as air traffic controller worked to divert incoming planes.

(Kenneth Mazik.  Phila. PD photo)

(Kenneth Mazik. Phila. PD photo)

Kenneth Mazik, 24, of Chadds Ford, Pa. (right), was behind the wheel of the Jeep Cherokee.

“Before he got to the runway, almost simultaneously with crashing the gate, the ground radar kicked in,” says Philadelphia police chief inspector Joe Sullivan.  “The tower was alerted immediately, and they made sure to divert flights coming in.”

In October, a remorseful Mazik told a federal court he was thankful that no one was hurt.

“I would like to start with an apology to everybody I affected on March 1st,” he said.  “To put those lives in danger is unspeakable, and I accept that I deserve punishment for that.”

The defense blamed addiction to the medication Adderall for Mazik’s actions.

He received a 16-month sentence (see related stories).

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