Togiak man arrested trying to climb into airplane cargo hold in Dillingham

Jun 28, 2018

PenAir agents did not allow Donald Isaacson to board a flight Wednesday because Isaacson was "behaving strangely." An airline employee contacted Dillingham Police when Isaacson allegedly refused to leave the terminal. According to police, Isaacson ran onto the tarmac and was halfway into the cargo hold of an Alaska Airlines plane before an officer subdued him. The officer was injured in the process.

The exterior of the Pen Air terminal at the Dillingham airport.
Credit Isabelle Ross/KDLG

Officers received a report Wednesday of a Togiak man who was behaving oddly at the PenAir terminal. PenAir did not allow 36-year-old Donald Cilistok Isaacson to board a flight because of his allegedly odd behavior.  He refused to leave the terminal.

According to statement by the Dillingham Police Department, when an officer arrived and told Isaacson he had to leave, Isaacson said he needed to board and began to throw the contents of his pockets at the ticket agents.

Isaacson then ran through the security door by the boarding gate and out onto the tarmac. The officer tackled Isaacson escaped and ran up the luggage conveyor belt attached to the cargo hold of a Pen Air jet.

The officer followed and grabbed Isaacson, who was halfway into the hold, holding onto the leg of a Pen Air ramp agent who was inside the cargo hold. The officer was knocked off the conveyor belt onto the tarmac, injuring his elbow and knee in the fall.

Isaacson then jumped onto the tarmac and was wrestled to the ground by the officer. The officer handcuffed Isaacson with the assistance of three Pen Air ramp agents and the pilot.

The flight was delayed because the cargo hold of the jet had to be emptied of baggage and reloaded per FAA regulations.

Isaacson was arrested and charged a slew of misdemeanors: criminal trespass, assault, resisting arrest, escape and two other misdemeanor offenses relating to airport regulations.

Contact the author at isabelle@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.