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Long IslandCrime

Officials arrest man smoking near planes at JFK

A man looking for a place to smoke a cigarette at Kennedy Airport's Terminal 8 created a stir Thursday when he opened a security door leading to the area where aircraft are parked at the gate, Port Authority officials said.

Ground employees with American Airlines surrounded the 42-year-old man and called Port Authority police officers. Police arrested the man on criminal trespassing charges, said Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico. The man's name wasn't released.

It was about 2:45 p.m. when the man went through the door from inside the terminal near gate 6.

In mid-August, security officials at the airport were shocked when a man whose Jet Ski malfunctioned in Jamaica Bay was able to swim ashore, climb over a security fence and cross two runways before an airline employee spotted him near a terminal ramp.

That incident sparked officials like Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, to call for Port Authority officials to investigate why a $100 million security fence with video surveillance didn't detect the man.

Officials with the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association called for the authority's inspector general's office to investigate the security breach.

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