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Man arrested after attempting to steal plane at Texas airport

A man armed with a stick has been arrested after crashing through a gate at Waco Regional Airport in Texas and attempting to steal a business jet, police said on Thursday.

Sgt. Patrick Swanton, a spokesman for Waco Police, said the incident began shortly after noon when a man crashed his vehicle through a security gate at Waco Regional Airport and drove onto the tarmac. He then approached a packed Learjet belonging to a local business and attempted to enter the aircraft, after which he was confronted by the off-duty officer, who had been alerted by witnesses.

"Our officer approached the suspect who was armed with a stick and refused to cooperate with the officers instructions. The suspect was tazed several times with no effect, forcing our officer to have to physically restrain him," Swanton said. "Texas Aero employees saw the officer struggling with the individual and came to assist. Those employees helped the officer subdue the individual and all were able to handcuff him."

Swanton said the suspect is known to police and has a history of mental issues, but investigators believe he may also have been under the influence of narcotics. Once he has received a mental health evaluation at a local hospital, the suspect will face charges of Criminal Trespass, Attempted Theft, Criminal Mischief and Resisting Arrest. The FBI and the TSA may file additional charges, Swanton said.

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