Woman Nabbed at LAX the Day after Being Arrested for Sneaking onto a Flight

Friday, August 08, 2014
Marilyn Hartman (photo: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office)

Marilyn Jean Hartman likes the color blue. She can be seen wearing apparel of that hue in at least four mugshots taken of her after arrests for attempted breaches of security at California airports since February.

Hartman, 62, was arrested again at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Thursday, the day after being released from jail for sneaking onto a Southwest Airlines flight at Mineta San Jose International Airport Monday for a flight to L.A.

She reportedly snuck onto the plane in San Jose by staying close to a family, but it wasn’t explained how she bypassed two security checkpoints where authorities ask to see identification and tickets. She was discovered onboard during a head count.

They are already a little sensitive about security at the San Jose airport. In April, a 16-year-old boy climbed a fence, walked across a runway and crawled into the wheel well of a jet bound for Hawaii. He miraculously survived the long, cold flight.  

Media everywhere was trying to tote up the number of times she had been arrested for trying to do that and the San Francisco Chronicle took early top honors, counting eight in recent months. The San Jose Mercury News said she was busted three times trying to board a flight to Hawaii from San Francisco International Airport.

Hartman’s first arrest reportedly came after she made it onto a plane and into the seat of a paying customer before getting busted in the TSA line a couple of times. She was told to stay away from the airport and was subsequently detained for hanging out in the food court, baggage claim and restroom.  

Hartman told reporters that she was a native Chicagoan who had been homeless in the Bay Area for at least a decade. The Mercury News said she had spent some time in Seattle, San Diego and Maui, too, and lived in San Francisco’s Tenderloin until February.

Hartman pleaded no contest Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge related to being a stowaway. The judge sentenced her to two years probation and banned her from LAX unless she had ticket.

She told reporters she knew she had “made a mistake” but was driven to it by homelessness. It was a “desperate act,” not a criminal one. “I view this more as a sit-in at the airport to make a point that got out of control.”

“Obviously they will be on the watch again so I dare not attempt this again,” Hartman said.

But the next day she was spotted getting off a bus and wandering into three different LAX terminals. Her photograph had already been distributed to security personnel and she had an entourage as she made what appeared to be a scouting trip. Hartman was arrested for allegedly violating her probation.

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

Stowaway Marilyn Hartman Arrested Again at LAX (by Evan Sernoffsky, San Franciso Chronicle)

Hartman Says after Pleading No Contest to Sneaking Past SJC Security (by Christina Cocca, Adrian Arambulo and Riya Bhattacharjee, NBC Bay Area)

Fliers of Stowaway Handed Out Before She Was Arrested Again at LAX (by Veronica Rocha, Kate Mather and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times)

Serial SFO Stowaway Makes Way to Los Angeles Via Flight from Mineta San Jose (by Katie Nelson and Erin Ivie, San Jose Mercury News)

Kid Dodges Security and Narrow Seats for Ride in Jet Wheel Well from San Jose to Hawaii (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)

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