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Man cited for trespassing at Northern California airport where teen sneaked aboard flight

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SAN JOSE, California — A Northern California airport where a teenager hopped a fence and stowed away aboard a flight to Hawaii experienced its fourth security breach over the past year.

Jose Mendoza, 40, was detained after a Mineta San Jose International Airport security guard spotted him walking beside a runway on Thursday night, San Jose police said. Mendoza ran and tried to scale a section of perimeter fence. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was cited for misdemeanor trespassing and released, Sgt. Heather Randol told the San Jose Mercury News.

No flights were affected.

Airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes said the airport's security worked in Mendoza's case.

"The layers of security are there in order to respond to situations such as this," she told the Mercury News. "He was detected, deterred and the system worked. He was successfully apprehended right away."

In addition to the teen stowaway, authorities say the airport's other recent security breaches were a woman who sneaked aboard a flight in August and a man who got onto the tarmac in November.

Marilyn Hartman, who had tried to board flights at San Francisco International Airport, managed to get onto a flight in San Jose and travel to Los Angeles International Airport, where she was arrested, according to authorities.

Miguel Zaragoza, 39, was charged with trespassing and possession of a stolen vehicle after he got onto the tarmac and took a city truck from a parking lot to a terminal to try to evade arrest, the Mercury News reported.

The airport's most notorious breach, however, was the 15-year-old stowaway who got into the wheel well of a Boeing 767 in April 2014 and survived the flight at 35,000 feet despite the cold and a lack of oxygen. He was caught after the plane landed on Maui.

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, who has raised concerns about San Jose airport's security, said four breaches in a year should be a concern to travelers. Swalwell said he would work with airport officials to learn more about the latest breach.


Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

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