SAN DIEGO — The four men arrested Saturday on suspicion of vandalizing the Skyfari Aerial Tram at San Diego Zoo, triggering a shutdown, have been identified as U.S. Marines.
The military members under investigation are from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing headquartered at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Major Mason Englehart, director of communication strategy and operations for the aviation unit, told FOX 5 in an email. He identified them as Sgt. Jacob Dean Bauer, LCpl. Brayden Stone Posey, Cpl. Brandon Gregory Cook and LCpl. Marquette Alexander Williams.
San Diego police said the four men are all between 20 and 24 years old.
“We are committed to being good neighbors to the San Diego community and will continue to work with local authorities as they continue their investigation,” Englehart said. “Anyone found in violation of law or directive will be held appropriately accountable. This behavior is contrary to our core values and 3rd MAW is conducting an investigation into the incident.”
The men are accused of “rocking back and forth” in their gondola, which caused the ride to automatically shut down shortly after 2 p.m., a San Diego Zoo spokeswoman told FOX 5.
According to a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department tweet, crews were called in to rescue more than 100 passengers from the tram. The ride features 28 total gondolas that hold up to four people each and typically takes about eight minutes to make a round trip at the zoo.
All guests were brought to safety on the ground around 4:30 p.m., fire crews said. No injuries were reported.