Buying a pricey plane ticket and standing in the slow-moving airport security line may not be the most glamorous travel accommodations. But ex-convict Demetrice Hall learned that there are worse ways to try to get to New York City.
Hall, 32, of Orlando, was arrested Thursday after he burrowed his way under a fence into a restricted area of the Orlando International Airport then climbed into the wheel well of an airliner hoping for a free ride to the Big Apple.
Orlando police say Hall walked about eight miles from Oak Ridge Road to the airport then spent hours inside the wheel well before he finally got out and was spotted standing on the tarmac by a JetBlue Airline employee.
Hall was shirtless, greasy and barefoot standing near a light pole.
He told the JetBlue employee that he was an airline mechanic and that his identification badge had been stolen. When police arrived, he admitted his plans to stow away.
After hours of questioning by Orlando police and FBI agents, Hall finally agreed to show officials how he got onto airport property. As he retraced his steps, investigators found the hole Hall dug to get to the tarmac.
Investigators also found Hall’s abandoned black T-shirt near the plane and pulled his dirty white socks and a lighter out of the wheel well, his arrest report said.
The report did not say if Hall’s shoes were ever found. Hall was arrested on charges of trespassing, burglary and loitering.
He was booked into the Orange County Jail on $1,200 bail.
Hall was released from prison in July after he was sentenced to nearly two years for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
It’s not clear why Hall was so intent on making it to New York but with only a driver’s license that expired in 2009 and a pending court case, he will likely have to put the trip on hold.