Runway joyride suspect pleads guilty
CENTER CITY - July 10, 2012 (WPVI) -- The man accused of being behind the wheel of an unauthorized vehicle on an airport tarmac pleaded guilty Tuesday.
It was March 1st when 24-year-old Kenneth Mazik of Chadds Ford drove his black Jeep Cherokee through a locked gate and onto the runway at Philadelphia International Airport just as an aircraft was approaching for landing.
Cell phone video showed Mazik's SUV driving through the restricted area at speeds in excess of 100mph.
His joyride caused a major disruption to airport operations and put hundreds of lives at risk.
Mazik appeared at a hearing this afternoon in federal court to plead guilty to the facts as laid out by the US attorney.
"He admitted to the fact that his conduct endangered the operations of the airport," Assistant US Attorney Albert Glenn told reporters.
Why he did it has been a mystery.
Mazik told the court that he suffers from depression and Attention Deficit Disorder.
He said his father died when he was 16 and a doctor prescribed Adderall which he became addicted to.
He said at the time of the airport incident he was having relationship problems with the mother of his new child.
After the hearing, his attorney said Masik thought he was being chased the day he drove out on the runway.
"He wasn't sure [who was chasing him.] He just felt there were people that were always following him and he was just having difficulty with the reality of it," defense attorney Kerry Kalmbach said.
His attorney said Mazik is extremely remorseful.
"He really has a difficult time believing that he'd do something that stupid," Kalmbach said.
Mazik agreed to pay more than $91,000 in restitution for the cost of all the problems he caused at the airport.
He faces up to 20 years in prison.
He is currently out on bail, being electrically monitored, living with his mother until sentencing in late October.
philadelphia, philadelphia international airport, local/state, sarah bloomquist
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