The 17-year-old girl breached the fence of Fresno Yosemite International Airport around 7:30 a.m., started up a King Air 200 propeller-driven aircraft and crashed it into a fence, according to a statement from airport officials.
The girl’s mother said her daughter ran away from home Tuesday night and hadn’t been seen or heard from since, Fresno’s Fox 26 reported. Her daughter had never run away before and didn’t even know how to drive a car, the mother added.
A small plane sits parked after it was crashed into a fence by a 17-year-old girl Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport in Fresno, Calif.
(The Fresno Bee via AP)
Police found the teen in the pilot’s seat, wearing the pilot’s headset, and arrested her on suspicion of theft of an aircraft. Officers said she appeared to be disoriented and was uncooperative when taken into custody.
No injuries were reported, and no passenger planes were in danger, airport spokeswoman Vikkie Calderon told The Fresno Bee. Airport officials said the aircraft never became airborne but sustained “substantial damage.”
The teen’s identity has not been released because of her age. She will be booked into a juvenile hall after police finish questioning her.
Fresno Yosemite International Airport is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local law enforcement agencies to investigate the incident.
Airport Police Chief Drew Bessinger said the teen’s motives are still under investigation, but there is no indication of “domestic terrorism.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
Subscribe to our news newsletter
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe