A 33-year-old Oakland man who reportedly really wanted to go home and get the eff out of Vegas was arrested twice last weekend at Harry Reid International Airport for causing disturbances that police compared to terrorism.
Stefan Mathias Hutchison, who the Associated Press says hails from Oakland but other sources refer to his hometown of Carmichael, CA, was first detained Saturday morning around 8:30 a.m. at the Las Vegas airport and booked on misdemeanor charges of causing a disturbance and resisting arrest. He was freed on bail later that day.
On Sunday around 4:30 a.m., Hutchinson returned to the airport and allegedly caused another disturbance, this one more significant that led to airline customers abandoning checkout lines because they thought a shooting or act of terrorism was occurring.
Las Vegas Police Officer Larry Hadfield tells the Washington Post that "The initial sound was a door or trash can falling." But the noises continued. "That triggered patrons to leave lines, which caused stanchions to fall, causing a succession of loud sounds."
It remains unclear what, exactly, Hutchinson did to trigger the chaos. But per the AP, he pushed past TSA screeners in some effort to hurry toward the boarding gates. Hutchinson allegedly later told arresting officers that he wanted to get on a plane home immediately, and not wait for a flight he was scheduled to be on on Monday.
According to police, a Spirit Airlines employee hit her head on a wall when Hutchinson pushed past her, and another Spirit employee tackled Hutchinson to the ground before police arrived.
The chaos had wide-ranging repercussions for travelers on Sunday, as the Washington Post reports. "Dozens of commercial flights in and out of Las Vegas were canceled or delayed throughout the day, and thousands of people were affected," the Post says. "Passengers who had been screened by Transportation Security Administration were required to re-screen at security checkpoints before boarding their flights."
Hutchinson has been charged with felony burglary — a charge that in Nevada includes entering a building with intent to commit a crime.
Hutchinson was arraigned Wednesday morning in a Las Vegas court. As the AP reports, an attorney representing him said that Hutchinson had "absolutely no criminal intent" in his actions at the airport, and it was “evident that a mental health episode” was occurring that led Hutchinson to go to the airport Saturday and Sunday. The judge in the case granted the lawyer's motion to have Hutchinson undergo a competency evaluation, and set his next court date for September 9.
Top image: A side-by-side of booking photos of Stefan Hutchinson on Saturday, August 13, and Sunday, August 14, via the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department