LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man accused of creating chaos at Harry Reid International Airport, which led to hundreds of flight cancelations and delays on Sunday, told police he was ready to leave Las Vegas “as soon as possible.”
Stefan Hutchison is accused of resisting officers, burglary, and battery following two separate incidents on Aug. 13 and 14.
On Saturday, Aug. 13, police said Hutchison breached a screening checkpoint just after 8 a.m. before walking into a store and stealing a pair of sunglasses. When TSA officers told him to stop walking and tried to take him into custody, he started yelling, flailing his arms and kicking his feet.
Officers said that when Hutchison initially ignored commands and kept walking past a screening checkpoint, an alarm button was pressed multiple times.
On Sunday, Aug. 14, a mass panic ensued after police said several loud bangs were heard near a ticketing area at around 4:30 a.m.
Officers at the scene were told that a man had pushed by employees and charged through a door leading to the secured side of the terminal. They found Hutchinson struggling with three airline employees on the floor, the report said.
Employees were trying to help Hutchison at the ticketing counter when he ran past them as the door opened, the report said. He allegedly pushed an employee, causing her to fall and hit her head.
Police said later on that the loud bangs were caused by line dividers falling on the floor when people were running to escape. Hundreds of travelers had been seen running past the TSA checkpoint without being screened to get to the secured side of the gates.
“Citizens were trampling over each other attempting to escape the area,” a police report said.
Hutchison later told police that he had arrived in Las Vegas on Friday, Aug. 12, and had a flight scheduled to leave on Monday, Aug. 15, but that “he was ready to go back home as soon as possible.”
Hutchison was later booked into the Clark County Detention Center on burglary charges.