Local police in San Jose, California arrested a man on September 20, 2021 after he entered a secure area of Norman Mineta Y. San Jose International Airport (SJC) and claimed to be in possession of explosive devices.
Police were called around 07:30 local time for a security breach at the south end of the airport. It appeared that an intruder followed an airport employee driving to work and was able to get past the security gate.
“The employee noticed that as he was going through the gate, before it closed, another vehicle was able to enter as well. The protocol is to immediately notify authorities, and we were notified,” said Sargeant Christian Camarillo in a statement.
The man, identified as 22-year old Alex Portillo-Bienemann, was barricaded in his car after police arrived in the area.
Portillo-Bienemann initially refused to get out of the vehicle and then claimed he had bombs.
“He made some spontaneous statements about swallowing an explosive device, as well as there being another one in the vehicle. Both of those statements later turned out to be unfounded. Nothing was found in the vehicle,” Sgt. Camarillo said.
Police found no explosives at all,and Portillo-Bienemann was taken into custody for trespassing on airport property and delaying officers. It was determined that Portillo-Bienemann was suffering from a mental issue. He was hospitalized for ingesting a large amount of an unknown medication. Police will provide Portillo-Bienemann mental health services.
This morning SJC and Patrol Officers responded to a security breach in a sterile area of the airport. A despondent male drove his vehicle onto the south side of the airport.— San José Police Media Relations (@SJPD_PIO) September 19, 2021
A swift response by our units contained the suspect and he was taken into custody. pic.twitter.com/pMQZuxF5S8
No damage was found in the airport property and departing flights were delayed only by a maximum of 45 minutes. Incoming flights were instructed to use a runway further away from the incident.