Passengers had to go through massive delays when a man sneaked into Terminal C of Newark Airport causing evacuation of the Terminal and re-screening of every passenger. The man has been identified as Haison Jiang, 28, of Piscataway (25 miles from the Airport) who is a student at Rutgers University. He was arrested by the local law enforcement and later released. He is being charged with defiant trespass.
The TSA agent where the incidence happened was identified as Ruben Hernandez. He has been currently placed on administrative leave and is awaiting disciplinary action.
“I don’t think he thought he did anything wrong because he never mentioned what happened,” said a classmate, who gave his name as Hui, 29.
“I’ve known him five years and I’ve never seen him so excited and happy because his girlfriend spent a week here around Christmas,” said Hui.
“She is a very nice girl who’s worried and upset about the incident at the airport,” Hui said. “She called from Los Angeles Friday night to ask what happened. Now she plans to come here in a couple of days to be with him.”
Friends said Jiang, who came to the U.S. from China in 2004, is in a doctorate molecular bioscience program at Rutgers and had never been in trouble with the law.
Police said it looks like Jiang meant no harm and only wanted to follow his girl to a secure part of the concourse to say goodbye.
A neighbor, Gene Wells, 53, said he felt some sympathy for Jiang, who lives with a group of students.
“He’s not a terrorist – he just did something stupid,” Wells said.
Port Authority police said a team of six detectives tracked down Jiang by checking surveillance tapes, plane manifests and photos of license plates in airport parking lots, and interviewing possible witnesses.
Armed with the evidence, they went to Jiang’s Lincoln Ave. home Friday and knocked on the door.
“He answered and said something to the effect, ‘You got me,'” and admitted what happened,” a police source said.
“Old fashioned police work found him. Nothing glamorous about the search, just old-fashioned shoe leather,” the source said.
It seems like Haison Jiang did it all for the love of his girl friend who stayed with him for Christmas. But then tell that to the thousands of people who got delayed for meetings, appointments, dates, connections, etc.
Next time, please arrive early and bid your lovely goodbye in the unsecured area and never try to cross into the secure area without a ticket!