Travelers mistakenly told to evacuate Portland International Airport

PORTLAND, Ore. – Travelers at Portland International Airport were mistakenly told to evacuate Friday night while police attempted to arrest a wanted man.

The announcement came over the PA system in the baggage claim area shortly after 10 p.m. Port of Portland police confirmed a couple minutes later there were no dangers and another announcement was made that the airport was safe.

The evacuation was wrongly ordered as police attempted to bring a man into custody who was wanted in Marion County on a misdemeanor warrant. The man, later identified as 22-year-old Alexander Plata, was sleeping in the baggage claim area, which is not allowed, according to police. When an officer contacted Plata, he lied to the officer about who he was, police said. 

The officer learned of Plata’s warrant and tried to arrest him. But Plata resisted and at one point grabbed the handle of the officer’s pistol, police said. The officer broke free of Plata and more officers arrived to help bring him into custody.

In addition to his warrant, Plata was charged with resisting arrest and assault on a police officer.

Police on Friday night said it's not clear who made the unauthorized evacuation announcement.

© 2018 KGW-TV


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