Woman Arrested After Allegedly Running Onto Arizona Tarmac to Stop Missed Flight

A woman was arrested in Phoenix on Sunday after allegedly running onto an airport tarmac in an attempt to halt a plane that was about to take off without her.

The woman was identified by Phoenix police as 53-year-old Vickie Meyers. Police told Newsweek that Meyers was arrested at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport after she was allegedly late for a scheduled flight and "entered a secure area" of the airport.

Court documents reviewed by the Phoenix-based news station KNXV-TV identified that area as the tarmac. Signs in at least two languages that warn members of the public against trespassing were visible around the area Meyers allegedly entered, according to the station.

Once Meyers allegedly entered the restricted area, staff at the airport "immediately made contact" with her and called in law enforcement officials to assist with their efforts, according to police. After officers arrived, Meyers, who is from St. Louis, Missouri, was arrested for trespassing and taken to Maricopa County Jail.

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport tarmac
A woman was arrested on Sunday after allegedly running onto an airport tarmac in an attempt to stop a plane from taking off without her. Above, the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is photographed on January 6, 2020. DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images

"There was no impact to airport operations," police told Newsweek.

A man named Bryan Jones, who was at the airport at the time of Meyers' arrest, shared a video clip with Phoenix news station KSAZ-TV that showed a woman standing on the tarmac beside an airport employee who was wearing a reflective vest. The video then showed police walking out onto the tarmac toward the woman and later leading her back inside.

"She decided to go out the emergency exit doors onto the tarmac and start arguing with the ground crew why she should be let onto the plane still," Jones told the station.

When reached for comment on Wednesday, airport officials told Newsweek they did not have any additional information about Meyers' alleged dash onto the tarmac and referred all inquiries to Phoenix police.

The Phoenix airport was the site of another tarmac-related arrest earlier this month. According to local media, a man was arrested on December 4 after allegedly jumping onto the tarmac from a plane that had just landed and was making its way to its arrival gate. That individual was arrested on felony trespassing charges.

Millions of people pass through Phoenix's international airport every year, with the airport reporting nearly 22 million passengers in 2020 and more than 310,000 plane landings and departures. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport reported between 42 and 46 million passengers during each of the previous six years with more than 430,000 plane departures and arrivals annually.