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TSA, San Jose Airport Officials Say Woman’s Stowaway Flight Was Not A Security Breach

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San Jose International Airport (Credit, Randy Yagi)

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Both the Transportation Security Administration and Mineta San Jose airport officials want to send a message that Monday’s successful stowaway excursion should not be considered a security breach.

On Monday, Marilyn Hartman was able to fly from San Jose to Los Angeles without a boarding pass, and was arrested on arrival by Los Angeles airport police around 11 p.m.

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According to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, the 62-year-old Hartman has made six previous failed attempts to board a plane from that airport. Authorities have issued a restraining order against her.

During one of her first stowaway attempts in February, Wagstaffe said Hartman actually boarded a flight, but was not allowed to fly.

After her fourth failed attempt, Wagstaffe said she was placed into a mental health probation program on May 23. However, subsequent attempts to board flights, on July 14 and 25 caused her to be in violation of her probation.

Referring to her flight from San Jose on Monday, Mineta spokesperson Rosemary Barnes said, “This was not a security breach. TSA screened the passenger for prohibited items.”

She said that the TSA and Southwest Airlines are now investigating how the un-ticketed passenger was able to board the plane.

Barnes said that in this case, despite Hartman’s successful endeavor, “public safety was not compromised.”

TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said Wednesday afternoon that the agency is now instituting “minor modifications to the layout of the document checking area to prevent another incident like this one.”

However, Melendez said he could not elaborate on the specific modifications being made.

Hartman was arraigned Wednesday morning in Los Angeles airport court Dept. 141.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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