Apparently Siyah Bryant was done for the night.
The car he was in had just run out of gas on the New Jersey Turnpike; then the man with whom he was on a date called another gent to bring them fuel, and Bryant became unnerved.
So, donned in what the New York Post described as a woman's red pants and a "smart brown sweater," Bryant exited the car about 4:20 a.m. Christmas Day and made his getaway on foot.
Planes await travelers at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J. (Image source: AP/Julio Cortez)
But Bryant soon encountered a daunting obstacle — the barbed-wire encrusted security fence at Newark Airport.
Incredibly, rather than picking another route to freedom or heading back to his grade-F evening out, Bryant allegedly scaled the fence.
Of course, the numerous sensors for the airport's Perimeter Intrusion Detection System are designed to alert security when a stunt such as Bryant's occurs.
But the $300 million-plus apparatus apparently detected nothing in this case, the Post reported.
Not only that, Bryant managed to make his way across two runways — about a mile into a highly restricted area — before attempting to enter Terminal C, where a United Airlines worker confronted the 24-year-old from Jersey City and called police.
What remains unclear is why the Perimeter Intrusion Detection System failed.
“The [PIDS] cameras were operating and he was not detected by the PIDS system,” a source told the Post.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” Port Authority police chief Louie Koumoutsos told the Post. “The PAPD is continuing to review PIDS video and other surveillance methods to determine the circumstances of the incident.”
As for Bryant, he was arrested, charged with criminal trespass, checked against the Joint Terrorism Task Force and FBI watch list, issued a summons, and released, Koumoutsos added.
The incident reportedly prompted a massive grilling upon police supervisors, the Post said.
“Everybody was called on the carpet about this, which is rather unfair, since they have no control over a substandard security system,” the source said. “If the PIDS system worked, the police would have responded and rendered the assistance he needed.”
The Port Authority has not yet responded to a request for comment on the incident, Gothamist said.
Here's a report from WPIX-TV: