The passenger, who missed his flight after being arrested for breaching security at Paphos airport, says he was only trying to get to his plane after his wife told him they were closing the gate to the boarding area.
The 46-year-old, a Ukrainian national with a Polish ID card, was arrested Wednesday around 6am when airline personnel saw him walking inside a restricted area at Paphos International.
According to officials, the passenger had dropped off his wife and their two young children at the airport terminal, and he then left to return the family rental car and get his money deposit back. The entire family was traveling together.
He reportedly waited near the airport at a specific location for a rental company representative to come and return the money, but the wait was getting longer by the minute.
'There was nothing suspicious about him, the man had no malicious intent,' police told Knews
In the meantime, the entrance to the boarding area for the flight was being closed and his wife had told officials to wait for her husband. When they told her it was not possible, she phoned him to let him know the security entrance to the boarding gate was going to close.
Paphos police spokesperson Michalis Ioannou told Knews that it turned out the passenger did not have his boarding pass on him but only his passport at that time. He added that he was using his GPS on his phone to walk the fastest route to the gate where his wife and children were waiting for a bus transfer to board the plane.
According to Ioannou, the man breached security by climbing over a locked fence gate, about a 5-7 minute walk from the terminal. As he moved inside the restricted area, he was spotted by airline personnel.
Police were notified and the man was arrested for trespassing. It was not clear whether he was able to explain his predicament to the officials who detained him initially.
Ioannou told Knews it was clear the man was only trying to board his flight.
“There was nothing suspicious about him, the man had no malicious intent,” Ioannou said.
This is why there were only minor charges against him, such as security breach and illegal entrance, according to Ioannou.
The man was detained by police as his wife and children boarded the Ryanair flight, which departed after a security inspection and landed at its destination in Cracow, Poland.
He spent the night in jail and appeared before a judge in Paphos District Court on Thursday, where he was fined €500 for his offences and also ordered to sign a two-year suspended bail bond for €2000.
He was then released from custody.