Video: Watch Teen Stowaway Hop Out of Plane Wheel Well
The Hawaii Department of Transportation on Tuesday released surveillance video taken at Kahului Airport on the island of Maui on April 20. It shows a stowaway climbing out of a plane and walking around the tarmac.
The teenager, 15-year-old Yahya Abdi, survived the nearly five-hour flight from San Jose, Calif. He told authorities that he crawled into the wheel well of the Boeing 767 and lost consciousness when the plane took off.
Yahya, who also goes by the name Yahya Yusuf, endured subzero temperatures at oxygen-thin altitudes as high as 38,000 feet, authorities believe.
The teen told investigators he was trying to get to Somalia to see his mother and had no clue which plane went where, a law enforcement official told CNN. He is said to have hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport shortly after 1 a.m. April 20 and stayed on the grounds for six hours without getting caught.
The teen spent time recovering at a hospital in Hawaii. As of the weekend, he was in the custody of the Santa Clara County Child Protective Services, in California, according to San Jose police spokesman Albert Morales.
The spokesman said investigators are looking to talk to the teen, who could face charges.
“We are undetermined on whether or not charges will be filed. We want to interview him as to what was the situation that prompted him to get on the plane. We have to conduct a thorough interview and get the information from the juvenile himself. If in fact it is determined that there was a criminal offense, it will be criminal trespass, which is a misdemeanor in California,” Morales said.
If found guilty, the teen could receive a citation and a fine, Morales said.