A parolee was arrested at Lindbergh Field on Tuesday after police say he sneaked on a United Express airplane without a ticket.
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"I just can't at all understand how in the world this ever happened," said passenger Nicholas Blasgen, who was on his way to Thailand after a brief stop in Los Angeles.
During the final passenger count, flight attendants realized that there was an extra person onboard. Blasgen and the 27 others were ordered off the plane.
"They had us put all the bags out," said Blasgen. "They separated the bags and had the dog go over everything."
The bomb-sniffing dog found nothing, but San Diego Harbor police officers found their extra passenger, a 37-year-old parolee.
"He was just released from jail yesterday and has a criminal history," said Harbor police Lt. James Jordan.
Jordan said the man walked through an emergency door in the commuter terminal which led to the tarmac, where a plane was boarding.
When asked if that was where there may be a security gap, Jordan responded, "No, the system worked. He breached the door, we were notified, we activated the system and we caught him."
"Someone didn't do their job," he said. "If it was somebody who wanted to do harm this would just be.... it sounds like they just have lax security or not enough management. Something was going wrong. "
The second security check took so long that Blasgen missed his connecting flight.
Police said the parolee will be charged with two counts of trespassing and violating his parole.
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