A $300 million airport perimeter-protection system has failed to detect that a man – dressed as woman – who had hopped a fence at Newark Airport and wandered across two runways.
Siyah Bryant, 24, was wearing women’s red pants and a smart brown sweater as he allegedly walked onto the tarmac at about 4.20am on Christmas Day after tryst in a car near the airport went bad, the New York Post reported.
The Perimeter Intrusion Detection System at the New Jersey airport should have alerted officials to Mr Bryant’s presence long before he took his turn on the runway – but the $300 million-plus system flunked.
“The [PIDS] cameras were operating and he was not detected by the PIDS system,” a source said.
Mr Bryant’s misadventure began while he was on “a date” with another man and their car ran out of petrol, sources told the Post.
Mr Bryant “felt uncomfortable” when his pal called a third man to bring them fuel, so he set off on foot, sources said.
He allegedly scaled the security fence and rambled unnoticed across two runways before trying to enter Terminal C, where he was confronted by a United Airlines worker, who called cops.
He was charged with criminal trespass.
The PIDS system includes cameras that watch the airport’s outer fence, which is topped with barbed wire and lined with sensors to detect climbers. It remains unclear why Mr Bryant was not spotted.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) chief Louie Koumoutsos said.
“The PAPD is continuing to review PIDS video and other surveillance methods to determine the circumstances of the incident.”
“The individual involved was arrested, checked against the [Joint Terrorism Task Force] and FBI watch list, issued a summons and released,” Mr Koumoutsos said.
Read more at the New York Post.