Phillips teen arrested after standoff at GI airport

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 4:40 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - One person has been taken into custody following a standoff situation at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport.

Grand Island Police received a call at 1:49 p.m. Tuesday of a suspicious person who was believed to be armed with a long gun that had gotten on a plane. At the same time, they also were made aware of a potential homeless person that had thrown a bag over the fence at the airport.

GIPD Captain Dean Elliott said when officers responded, they learned Tyler Caudill, 19, of Phillips, had thrown items over the fence at the airport and then went through the building and got on a private jet that was on the tarmac.

Tyler Caudill, 19, was arrested after police said he trespassed on a private jet at the Central...
Tyler Caudill, 19, was arrested after police said he trespassed on a private jet at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport.(KSNB)

When the pilots of that plane went to start it up for normal operations, they saw a guy passed out on the plane.

GIPD said they saw the weapon, grabbed it and other items they could take and fled.

Once police arrived on scene, they started to talk to Caudill in an attempt to get him to surrender. He refused to obey commands and was trying to manipulate the equipment in the cockpit area.

Eventually, the tactical response team and police K-9s was called out, and chemical irritant was released into the plane to get him to come out.

GIPD said he came out with his hands up about an hour and a half later, but police say that wasn’t his plan. He had refused to come out and obey commands.

GIPD, Nebraska State Patrol, Grand Island Fire and the CNRA administration worked together. Police are also in contact with the FBI because the incident happened on federal property.

“It was a little wild,” said Capt. Elliott.

Police are looking into if Caudill was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He is being booked into the Hall County Jail. There will be a medical clearance where they can identify any substances. He is now facing a number of charges.

“He’s obviously trespassing. He’s on federal ground. He brought firearms onto federal grounds,” Captain Elliott said. “Because he’s manipulating switches, putting on headphones and for all intents and purposes what we can tell, trying to manipulate a plane, we’re looking at potential theft of an aircraft as well.”

GIPD said they became aware of the 19-year-old after an incident that happened Monday at Kearney High. The Air National Guard Base had an incident with him Tuesday morning, but before GIPD could respond, he had driven off.

NSP did speak to him and his father following the incident in Kearney.

Shortly after Caudill was arrested, the airspace was cleared. The investigation is on-going.

Caudill was arrested for criminal trespass-1st degree, terroristic threats, criminal mischief, attempted theft, resisting arrest & use of a weapon to commit a felony.

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