- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Intruders got past security fencing or gates at least four times at Newark Liberty International Airport over the past decade.

On Christmas Day 2013, a 24-year-old man on a date ran out of gas on the New Jersey Turnpike and scaled a perimeter security fence. He walked across two runways before trying to enter a terminal, where an airline employee saw him and called police.

There have been at least 268 such breaches at 31 major U.S. airports between January 2004 and January 2015, according to an Associated Press investigation. Incidents ranged from fence jumpers taking shortcuts and intoxicated drivers crashing through barriers to mentally ill intruders looking to hop flights. None was terrorism-related.

Airports say breaches are relatively rare. Security measures typically include fences, cameras and patrols, but there are gaps. Not all of the miles of fences are routinely patrolled or covered by video surveillance.

Initially the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which runs Kennedy, Newark and LaGuardia, refused to release any information about breaches at the airports - even just a total number, without any specific details.

When the AP again requested data in January, the authority’s freedom of information office replied that a revision in policy meant records could be provided. But that has not yet happened.

As a result, the AP’s accounting of incidents at Newark relied on news stories. Officials on Thursday provided additional details on several.

Among them was a breach involving a homeless man and woman in August 2006 who lifted the bottom of a fence and went under it, the Star-Ledger reported. The Port Authority confirmed that the couple went under the fence.

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