A Marysville, Wash., man was arrested for allegedly hopping a fence and breaking pieces off of an airplane that he mistakenly believed was the property of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
The Herald newspaper of Everett, Wash., reports that the 30-year-old suspect was spotted at the Arlington Municipal Airport after midnight on Feb. 2. A police report said the man appeared “deranged and unpredictable” after a witness spotted him tampering with the jet.
The Herald reports that police persuaded the man to climb back over the fence and a search uncovered broken aircraft parts on the man and on the ground. The man reportedly told police he was at the Snohomish County airfield to locate what he thought was Allen’s airplane and that the billionaire Seattle Seahawks owner “was in violation of federal law by possessing a military aircraft.”
The damaged plane was not Allen’s and the Herald reports that police described it as a Dornier Alpha Jet owned by an aviation training company. Damage was estimated to be as much as $30,000.
According to a previous story at AirportJournals.com, Allen does own one of the unique jets. It was sold to him by Hans von der Hofen, founder of Arlington-based Abbatare Inc., which according to the story, is the only broker of the twin-engine German strike aircraft in the United States. Airport Journals says Allen “bought the fast, high-altitude aircraft to be used as a chase plane during the successful Allen-financed SpaceShipOne flight that won Scaled Composites and Burt Rutan the $10 million Ansari X Prize.”