Pilot accused of destroying parking barrier at Denver airport with an ax says he hit breaking point

19 August 2023

DENVER (AP) — A United Airlines pilot has been charged with criminal mischief for allegedly using an ax to destroy a barrier gate at an employee parking lot at Denver’s airport, telling authorities he was trying to help several drivers exit and “he just hit his breaking point.”

Kenneth Henderson Jones, 63, is accused of repeatedly striking the metal parking arm with a long-handled ax Aug. 2, knocking it off of its base and then fleeing on foot when a lot attendant confronted him. The employee told investigators he was able to grab the weapon from Jones during a scuffle near a security fence. The pilot then ran into a nearby field, where he was taken into custody by Denver police.

According to a report by the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Jones told a deputy that about six vehicles were behind each of the parking lot’s three exit gates, so he retrieved the ax from his parked car to help the drivers leave.

“Kenneth started by saying he just hit his breaking point,” the report stated.

Jones, who was released shortly after the scuffle, did not immediately respond to a phone message left by The Associated Press on Friday evening. A statement issued by the airline Friday said Henderson “was removed from the schedule and is on leave while United conducts an internal investigation.”

The manager of the lot said it would cost about $300 to fix the damaged parking arm, according to the sheriff’s office report.

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