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Sheriff: Florida man stole car, got into Coast Guard plane

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Posted at 3:16 PM, Jul 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-17 15:16:23-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida man crashed a stolen car through an airport fence and got into a Coast Guard airplane's cockpit before he was arrested, investigators said Saturday.

The suspect was identified by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office as 36-year-old Herrera Hamilton Moreno, who was jailed Saturday with bond set at $24,150. Jail records did not list an attorney for Moreno.

According to the sheriff's department, deputies at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport began pursuing a vehicle driving near parked commercial airliners. It had crashed through the airport fence to gain access.

The chase continued as the vehicle headed toward the airport's Coast Guard station. The suspect identified as Hamilton Moreno got out on foot, went into a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft and made it to the cockpit, where he was arrested, the sheriff's office said.

The vehicle had previously been reported stolen in Tampa.

Hamilton Moreno faces a variety of charges, including grand theft auto, fleeing and eluding, burglary and criminal mischief. He may also face federal charges, according to the sheriff's news release.