Man disrobes, drives truck into Southwest plane at Eppley Airfield

Man is in custody
Posted at 8:10 AM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 15:10:51-04

A man accused of stealing and crashing a truck into a Southwest airplane at Eppley Field is recovering in the hospital.

According to Omaha Police, the incident started at around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, when an Eppley officer attempted to make contact with the man after he ran into the airport's parking garage.

Officers at the scene attempted to contain the man as he continued to act erratically and began removing his clothes.

OPD officials say when more officers arrived, the man was able to conceal himself in landscaping shrubbery and officers lost sight of him for a short period of time.

The suspect was then seen scaling an eight foot barbed wire fence leading to the airport's south ramp.

According to OPD, the suspect ran from the inside of the fence and into a construction area where he located an unattended airline pickup truck.

The suspect then used the truck in an attempt to escape from the officers when he struck the landing gear of a Southwest plane that was boarding passengers.

Chief Tim Conahan with the Omaha Airport Authority said their officer cut him off but he turned around when the incident happened.

"Our officer took him into custody immediately at that time. There was extensive damage done to the Southwest plane. the individual did suffer some injuries from the crash,” he said.

The suspect was identified as 35-year-old Delairo Koonce.

In addition to suffering minor injuries, Koonce was transported to Nebraska Medical Center due to his continued erratic behavior. 

Omaha Police officials added that charges will be filed once Koonce is released from the hospital.

Two Southwest crew members suffered minor injuries but they refused medical treatment.

Omaha Police officials say it's unknown at this time how much damage was caused to the plane or the vehicle taken by the suspect, pending mechanical inspections.