As tension marked Los Angeles International Airport this week in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, four “juveniles” picked a bad day Thursday to explore secured, sealed-off sand dunes across from the end of the LAX runways.
Authorities detained the four young people who allegedly trespassed on a nature preserve on Los Angeles International Airport property.
Airport police received a report at 10:17 a.m. that at least one individual had climbed a fence surrounding the LAX Sand Dunes and LAX Blue Butterfly Preserve, according to an airport statement.
The preserve is across a busy multi-lane road, Pershing Drive, at the west end of the LAX airfield.
“Four juvenile suspects were taken into custody and will be cited and released to their parents,” according to the statement.
That incident occurred with the airport already on heightened alert due to a reported security breach at Terminal 3 about 6 a.m. Thursday.
A New York-bound JetBlue airliner was temporarily taken out of service after an “unauthorized person” was seen on a passenger boarding bridge leading to the locked jet, which did not have any crew members or passengers on board at the time.
An airport police officer later said that the person apparently was an off-duty pilot who was authorized to be on that flight. That person apparently took a Virgin Airlines flight to New York.
A police bomb squad searched the plane and luggage before giving the go- ahead for the airliner to be returned to service.
The sand dunes and butterfly preserve had been the site of numerous pricey private homes before noisy, smokey jets began operating out of LAX. The area is directly under the flight path for aircraft departing the airport during most the day or arriving in very late or very early morning hours. The city bought up and tore down the houses in the 1960s and the entire area is surrounded by barbed-wire fencing. It is occasionally used for filming movies and TV shows.
— Wire reports