Earlier this week, a man recently released from prison and on parole boarded a flight at the San Diego International Airport which was headed to Los Angeles.
Only he didn't go through security, nor did he even possess a ticket.
According to NBC San Diego, when the man boarded United Airlines Express flight 6323, he told the attendant that he "urgently" needed to use the plane's bathroom and handed her his duffel bag. Instead of heading to the bathroom, he sat down in one of the passenger seats.
As the flight was getting reading for takeoff, it was noted by flight personnel there was an extra passenger on the plane.
Reuters (courtesy of Chicago Tribune) reported, "The pilot was doing his safety walk and checked with the flight attendant. He was supposed to have 27 passengers, and the flight attendant count was 28," Harbor police Lt. James Jordan said. The man is said to have given himself up and walked off the plane without further incident.
The man, identified as 38-year-old Marc Rory Duncan, had been released from prison the previous day.
Once Duncan was identified as not supposed to have been on the plane, the rest of the passengers were asked to deplane. Dogs sniffed the bags for explosives and the passengers then went through another security screening before re-boarding.
It was learned Rory managed to escape U.S. Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) security screening by walking through one of the airport's emergency doors which gave him access to the tarmac. Reportedly, an alarm did sound when the door opened, but he'd run off and blended in with the passengers.
"He completely bypassed TSA screening," San Diego Harbor Police Chief John Bolduc told CNN. "He was in a public area and went out an emergency fire door, which gave him access to the tarmac."
Many are now wondering how, with the high intensity and scrutiny performed by TSA screening these days, this could have happened. Officials are pointing to the several security layers, one fails, but the secondary layers succeeded.
However, bottom line is the man made it into a secured area.
Nicholas Blasgen, a passenger on the United flight told NBC, "How could this happen? In this day and age when I have to take my shoes off to get on a plane, this guy bypasses everything. What if he had a bomb?"
Rory was arrested and is back in jail. He has a scheduled court date next week.
"Security of airports is a shared responsibility, and airports and airlines are required to adhere to TSA-approved security standards." TSA spokeswoman Sterling Payne said in a statement. "TSA has initiated an investigation and if necessary, will take appropriate action."