Air traffic controlers saw the man cross the tarmac and run toward Gate 6 in Terminal 1 around 6:20 a.m. They alerted San Diego harbor police, saying the man appeared to be trying to hide in a service vehicle. Officers arrested the man about 10 minutes later, according to airport officials.
Helicopter video showed officers escorting the man to an ambulance. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.
An airport employee told FOX5 News that the man, who was dressed in camouflage pants and a green shirt, tried to steal several vehicles. He finally jumped into a janitorial van and was injured when he crashed it, the employee said.
Military police from nearby Marine Corps Recruit Depot were summoned. MCRD is adjacent to the airport and separated from runway by a chain-link fence topped with razor wire. Helicopter video showed a police officer remove a piece of cloth or clothing that was tangled in the razor wire.
It was unclear why the man decided to enter airport property, though recruits from the adjacent military training base periodically do so, apparently to “get away from boot camp,” harbor police Sgt. Brad Hizer said.
The recruit, whose name was withheld, had reported to MCRD on Monday, was undergoing initial processing and had yet to begin his military training, according to a statement from the base.
No flight disruptions were reported.