Video: Man Sparks Airport Police Chase By Driving Onto Runway Before Fleeing Across Tarmac on Foot

A dramatic police chase occurred at an airport in Lyon in eastern France on Monday after a man drove his car onto an active runway with dozens of officers in pursuit.

As many as 20 police cars and motorbikes, a helicopter and dozens of officers were called in to chase down the intruder, who managed to slip through the security perimeter and reach the runways at Saint-Exupéry airport, The Local France reported.

Footage captured by passengers on waiting planes and travelers in the terminal shows the grey Mercedes bouncing around the grassy areas next to the runways, kicking up dirt and dust ahead of pursuing officers.

After almost crashing into an embankment the daredevil decided to escape on foot, leaping from the car and prompting a bizarre game of cat and mouse with officers trying to cut him off both on foot and in their vehicles.

The man was eventually swarmed and taken into custody. He has not been identified and police are yet to suggest any motive behind the escapade. There were no reports of any injuries associated with the chase.

According to Le Parisien, the man had earlier been speeding down the wrong side of the highway on his way to the airport. When he arrived, the newspaper said he forced his way through a glass barrier blocking access to the runway area. The driver had apparently already smashed another barrier at the Bron business airport to the east of Lyon, before heading for Saint-Exupéry around 6 miles away.

Euronews reported that multiple flights were diverted to land at Marseille instead of Lyon as their safety could not be guaranteed. All flights waiting to take off from Lyon were suspended, while passengers already aboard planes were forced to wait on the tarmac while police secured the area.

Saint-Exupéry airport was opened in 1975 and has three terminals and two runways. More than 10 million travelers passed through the hub in 2017, along with a further 55,404 tons of freight. It is the fourth busiest airport in France, behind Paris' Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, and the Côte d'Azur hub in Nice.

Security sensitivities around airports mean that any trespassing can elicit a huge response from law enforcement. In June, a man wearing only underwear managed to access the runway at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia and approached a Delta airliner than had just landed.

The incident prompted a rapid and large security response. The man, later identified as Jhryin Jones, was arrested within five minutes and charged with criminal trespassing, public indecency, causing damage and obstruction of law enforcement officers, Reuters reported.

Video: Man Sparks Airport Police Chase By Driving Onto Runway Before Fleeing Across Tarmac on Foot | World