Formal charges filed in case of SUV on Pa. runway

June 19, 2012 - 4:06 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A man accused of crashing through a fence at the Philadelphia airport and speeding down a runway has been charged by federal authorities with disrupting air traffic and endangering airport safety.

Authorities says 24-year-old Kenneth Mazik of the Philadelphia suburb of Chadds Ford drove his Jeep through a locked airport gate and drove down a runway at speeds of more than 100 mph before being surrounded and apprehended.

The March 1 incident caused pilots and air-traffic controllers to scramble to avoid the vehicle, affecting dozens of flights.

In announcing the charges Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger said Mazik faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

A call to Mazik's attorney was not immediately returned. But he has said Mazik was having irrational thoughts that people were chasing him.