A man in his underwear evaded police for hours on a jet intended for use by German chancellor Angela Merkel in the German city of Cologne last month. According to the magazine Der Spiegel, the man was tripping on the drug MDMA (also known as Ecstasy) as he danced on a wing, sprayed the interior of the plane with foam and pushed buttons in the cockpit before being apprehended.
On July 25, the 24-year-old man — a bodybuilder of Turkish descent identified only as Volkan T. — tricked guards at the gates of the Cologne military base, telling them he was attending a wedding reception at the nearby officers’ quarters. He then scaled a barbed wire fence, crossed an expanse of tarmac and accessed the jet through its open emergency exit doors.
Once on board, he stripped down to his underwear, punched buttons in the cockpit, sprayed fire extinguisher foam in the cabin and danced on a wing. Police received an alarm at 8:40 p.m. when Volkan T. was in the cockpit, but he wasn’t apprehended until nearly 12:30 a.m. when a police dog bit him on the leg.
The man led a combined force of civilian police, Bundeswehr soldiers and private security guards on a merry chase around the Airbus 319 aircraft, which is also used by other high-ranking German officials like President Joachim Gauck.
Spiegel reported that the plane was loaded with eight tons of fuel and could technically have taken off had someone with expertise been at the controls.
“The investigation is focused on the charges of dangerous interference in aviation but also trespassing and damage to property. As part of that probe it’s of interest how the accused got onto the site and into the plane,” said prosecutor Ulrich Bremer to the magazine.
When arrested, Volkan T. was found to be in possession of Ecstasy pills and marijuana. There is no indication that terrorism was involved. The nearly-naked bodybuilder had in fact quarreled with his girlfriend on the night in question, which may have driven him to binge on drugs.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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