Teen accused of running onto Atlanta airport runway granted bond

Airport opens investigation after man makes his way onto tarmac at Hartsfield-Jackson

ATLANTA — Atlanta police are investigating what led a teenager to run onto the runway of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Jhyrin Jones, 19, made his first appearance in court Wednesday morning.

Jones is accused of going over a fence and running up to a plane, where he jumped on the wing and pounded on windows.

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Jones continued some of his bizarre behavior in court, sometimes staring at Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach and our cameras.

At one point, he was even smiling.

He was given an $18,000 bond.

Jones is charged with criminal trespassing, obstruction of law enforcement, damage to property and public indecency for exposing himself to passengers, police said.

Cell phone video from those on the Delta flight that had just landed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Tuesday afternoon shows Jones run up to the plane with bare feet and only wearing underwear.

He was eventually arrested by a swarm of officers and seemed to give up peacefully, the video showed.

The judge read part of Jones' arrest warrant Wednesday:

“You made numerous attempts to get away from officers by kicking the patrol vehicle and throwing your body around, including a back flip while being placed into a patrol car,” a judge said.


Police said someone saw Jones scale a barbed wire fence and run onto the tarmac, and then the runway.

They called to report it, and Jones was taken into custody in a matter of minutes, police said.

Atlanta police Maj. Timothy Peek said Wednesday he was pleased with the quick response to the incident.

“I believe the system worked. Now we look and see if we can enhance it in any way,” Peek said.

He said police will review how it was all handled and see if there are any lessons for the future.

"Once it's all over and once we have all the facts and circumstances, we'll go back and have an after-action review," Peek said.

“Five minutes is not a bad response time. Can we do better? That depends on the situation and the information we receive,” Peek added.

Jones was taken from the airport with some minor injuries, which police said included minor cuts and scrapes, Peek said.

He said Jones’ demeanor once he was taken into custody was unusual, and that police will look into what his motivation may have been, or if he was having some kind of an episode or has an illness.

There is camera footage of Jones jumping the barbed wire fence, which Peek said police will examine.

He said the first notification to the man on the tarmac, however, was from a vigilant employee.