I-TEAM: New video & questions about security gap at Hopkins Airport

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CLEVELAND — The FOX 8 I-TEAM has now obtained video showing how a suspected drunk driver ended up on the airfield at Hopkins Airport and it has the I-TEAM exposing more about security gaps there.

Video just released by City Hall to the I-TEAM shows a driver barreling through a security fence and out into the restricted area. The video clip does not show what happened after the car went through the fence, but a police report sates the driver drove onto the airfield. No one at the airport noticed.

In fact, we’ve now learned the city does not have any of its own video of the driver on the airfield except for a short clip a few seconds long. Nothing from cameras on or around the runways or other cameras from inside the restricted area.

The city said the only other recorded clip of that driver comes from a camera belonging to a nearby aviation company.

A private security guard at the I-X Center ultimately called police nearly an hour after the crash through the fence. The guard told a dispatcher the driver was found in the I-X Center Parking lot.

That encounter was the first moment anyone had any idea that driver had gone out into the restricted area.

Even the guard who made the 911 call was confused. He said he had been told a driver had crashed, but he had no idea how that driver had gotten in to the I-X Center parking lot.

The Transportation Security Administration said the driver only drove in the restricted area for two minutes or so. But again, no one at the airport had even noticed what happened.

At the heart of this, was no one at the airport watching any security cameras? And what about police assigned to the airport for regular patrol?

The I-TEAM requested duty reports to find out how many officers were on patrol at the airport that morning and what they doing.

The city finally produced duty reports, but they covered the wrong time period, so we’ve asked again for records from the morning of the incident.

Meantime, the city said it could take two years to review this and decide on any security changes.

Yes, a spokesman told the I-TEAM, two years.

Last week, the airport director refused to answer questions from the I-TEAM saying the matter was under investigation.

On Thursday, City Hall could not say whether or not there are cameras on or around the runways.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it has no requirements for cameras on runways at airports.

For now, the city is doing an internal investigation.

The driver, Daniel Allen, is now facing charges for driving drunk and more. His case is just beginning to move through Cuyahoga County Court.

Continuing coverage, here.

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