Monday, July 19, 2021

Deputies: Man crashes through St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (KPIE) fencing before boarding Coast Guard aircraft

Herrera Hamilton Moreno

CLEARWATER, Florida — A Tampa man faces federal charges for crashing through fencing at the St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport and getting into the cockpit of a Coast Guard aircraft, the sheriff's office said.

Airport deputies were told of a suspicious car driving on the portion of tarmac where aircraft are parked just before 5 a.m. Saturday, according to a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office news release. 

Deputies tried to stop the car as it traveled to the Coast Guard station, which then crashed through a security gate. It eventually came to a stop as the man, later identified as 36-year-old Herrera Hamilton Moreno, got out while parked at a hangar and ran off.

He allegedly boarded a parked C-130 aircraft and entered its cockpit. Deputies were able to arrest him not long thereafter.

The sheriff's office says Moreno drove through fencing surrounding the airport before getting onto the runway. The car he was driving had been reported stolen from Tampa earlier Friday, deputies said.

He is booked in the Pinellas County jail on charges of fleeing and eluding, trespassing, grand theft auto, habitual traffic offender, burglary and two counts of criminal mischief.

Federal charges are pending, as well.


  1. Stolen car, damaged airport property, illegally entered a C-130 (how the hell did he know how to get in?). Thank God this is Florida and not California or New York where those idiot prosecutors and judges there release violent criminals for repeat "business" (and don't forget the geniuses screaming to defund the police). Throw the book at this dangerous scumbag and throw away the key.

    In any event, following 9/11 US military bases were beefed up with security controlling inbound and outbound traffic (concrete barriers funneling you down to the gate, emergency metal grates that pop up to flatten tires, etc.). Based on Googlemap satellite view, that does not appear to be the case here on the USCG part of the airport.

    On top of that, just in general there are so many airports out there, especially non-commercial GA ones, that are wide open sans a basic chain link fence easily penetrated to do as you please with a vehicle. They are soft targets, but so many of them have viewing parks for adults and children alike to hang out and watch the planes (and restaurants facing the tarmacs). Controlling who comes in and out and verifying their business would be not only difficult but possibly business hurting.

  2. Obviously the guy is an idiot and probably suffering some kind of mental health issues but none of the charges against him are “violent”. With multiple mass shootings every weekend maybe we should save the “throwing away the key” thing for those violent acts.
    Second the USCG is not “the military”. All the aircraft they use are also used in civilian aviation and are only small arms equipped. Unfortunately civilians own the same weapons.
    Coasties were originally a part of the Treasury Department and are now a part Das Homeland Department with law enforcement responsibilities and occasionally they do some search and rescue work. But I guess we should build a moat around every airport and law enforcement facility. Of coarse that won’t stop a drone that anyone can order on Amazon.
    “Anyone that surrender their freedom for a bit (the illusion) of security deserves neither”. BF

    1. "Second the USCG is not “the military”."

      The USCG is one of the six branches of the US Armed Forces (military) and they have military combat weapons in their naval fleet - and they have been used in military combat since the War Of 1812. More recently, towards firing on narcotics vessels and disabling them. Their mission at any given time, which can change in war time, does not change the fact that there is a reason their website ends with the domain ".MIL" there. Finally, I don't think any civilians have yachts with OTO Melara 76mm guns on them as are on USCG cutters.

  3. "wide open sans a basic chain link fence..."
    Sans means 'without'.
    Carry on.