A longtime airport employee was been taken into police custody after stealing an aeroplane in America.
The man, identified as Cory Wayne Patterson by police, threatened to crash the aircraft into a Walmart in Mississippi. However, Cory eventually landed in a field—where authorities arrested him.
According to Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka, Cory was an employee of Tupelo Aviation for the last 10 years. He worked as a lineman—responsible for refuelling the planes.
But on Saturday, he chose to move outside his normal work duties. During a news conference, the chief revealed Cory stole the twin-engine plane at 5:08 a.m. local time. Cory then took off from the Tupelo Regional Airport in a Beechcraft King Air C90.
Early morning, at about 5:30 a.m. local time, Cory called 911 in Lee County. He told authorities that he would crash the aeroplane into the West Main Walmart located in Tupelo. Chief Quaka said the Walmart, surrounding stores, and major streets were evacuated while the plane was still in the air.
Tupelo Police negotiators convinced Cory to abandon his plan of crashing into the chain store. With the help of a licensed pilot, police and Cory made a plan for him to land the aircraft at Tupelo Airport. But, Cory changed the agreement at the last minute. Instead, he began travelling northwest.
The aeroplane was in the sky for more than five hours, per CBS. Within that time, Cory posted a message on Facebook essentially saying goodbye. Police said he was running low on fuel by about 9:30 a.m. local time. About 30 minutes later, Cory landed the plane in a field several miles from Ripley, Mississippi.
Authorities took Cory into custody after the landing. He’s facing charges of grand larceny and making terroristic threats. This was perhaps the first time Cory flew a plane. He did not have a pilot’s licence.