UPDATED 10/25/11 3:50 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A South Side man was arrested at Midway International Airport Tuesday evening, after pushing his way onto a plane without a ticket or boarding pass.
Elvis Jackson, 33, was arrested without incident on the Southwest Airlines plane. He’s been charged with criminal trespass to state land and criminal trespass to real property, police said.
Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Olga Romero said the suspect “passed our gate agent forcefully and got into a plane.”
Kubiak said Jackson had no boarding pass or ticket.
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Flight No. 908 had 71 passengers aboard at the time Jackson allegedly forced his way on board. The plane was bound for Birmingham, Ala., Romero said.
The gate agent called police and the man was arrested, Romero said. No one was hurt.
“I’m real surprised, real surprised,” Jackson’s nephew, Xavier Jackson, told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov.
That’s the reaction from Elvis Jackson’s family across the board. They said they’re shocked at charges he pushed his way past a Southwest Airlines gate agent and got onto a plane without having a ticket or boarding pass.
The concern is how Jackson apparently got past the security checkpoint at Midway Tuesday night without showing any flight documents. In a statement, a Transportation Security Administration spokesperson would only say, “TSA is reviewing the incident and working with the Chicago Police Department on the investigation.”
“There’s been a surprising lack of communication as to what occurred,” said DePaul University transportation expert Joseph Schwieterman.
He said the TSA’s refusal to at least confirm if Jackson went through the checkpoint is unacceptable.
“It’s been enough hours now that details should be out there,” Schwieterman said. “I mean, people have a right to know why something this … simple occurred in a high security situation.”
Jackson appeared agitated when he appeared in court Wednesday morning and was ordered held on $35,000 bond.
“My sister always telling me … make sure he take his medication and stuff. You know, because he’s got medication he’s been taking,” said Elvis Jackson’s brother, Michael Jackson. “But he don’t take them.”
A spokesperson for Chicago’s Aviation Department called it “a very serious but isolated incident” and referred additional questions to Chicago police and the TSA.
TSA officials have not responded to repeated requests to confirm whether Jackson went through Midway’s security checkpoint.
In court, Jackson’s attorney said he is a certified nursing assistant with no criminal background, and has lived in Chicago for 17 years.