A man released from jail on Memorial Day wound up boarding a San Diego plane without a ticket on Tuesday morning, Harbor Police said.
United Airlines flight 6323 was bound for Los Angeles from San Diego International Airport when flight attendants counted an extra passenger aboard the plane.
Authorities learned the suspect, later identified by Harbor Police as 38-year-old Parolee Marc Rory Duncan, entered the tarmac through a magnetic emergency door in the airport's commuter terminal.
Although the alarm sounded, Duncan quickly made his way through the tarmac and boarded the United Express-owned plane with the other passengers.
A witness said Duncan handed his duffel bag to a flight attendant, saying he urgently needed to use the bathroom. He then sat down in a passenger's seat.
The flight attendant realized there were too many people on the plane and identified the extra passenger. Duncan was easy to spot, as he looked disheveled and suspicious, according to passenger Nicholas Blasgen.
Passengers were told to get off the plane while dogs sniffed their bags for explosives. They were screened by security a second time before being cleared and then taking off.
"How could this happen? " Blasgen asked, "In this day and age when I have to take my shoes off to get on a plane, this guy bypasses everything. What if he had a bomb?"
By the time officers reached the Duncan, he was already sitting in the seat according to Harbor police Lt. James Jordan.
"When this subject went through the door, he just kind of blended in with the people already waiting, the ticketed passengers," Jordan said.
Duncan was escorted off the plane peacefully. He was arrested and is now in jail. Harbor police are investigating the incident.