2 held after airport disturbance, thwarted takeoff
A local man faces a misdemeanor charge after a dispute Thursday that led a police officer to puncture an airplane tire as airport workers used a truck to block the small plane from taking off.
Grand Junction police spokeswoman Kate Porras said pilot Roger Kemp, 23, was issued a summons on suspicion of second-degree trespassing and released Thursday night. Kemp and his twin brother, Emil, were questioned at the Grand Junction Police Department following the incident, which happened after the brothers were denied access by airport workers to their airplane, which was parked at Grand Junction Regional Airport.
Police still are investigating whether the brothers may have been under the influence of an unknown substance, Porras said.
The incident began as a civil issue around 5 p.m., Porras said. An airport employee called 911 to report two men were arguing with staff after the men were denied badges granting them access to the airport’s tarmac, she said.
“They were wanting to get into their plane and take off,” Porras said, adding she didn’t know their destination.
According to Porras, the first Grand Junction officer to arrive at the scene spoke with Emil Kemp inside a building. As this happened, Roger Kemp sneaked onto the tarmac, officers alleged, and he was spotted by a second officer, Porras said.
The officer said Roger Kemp ignored commands to stop, Porras said. The officer fired a Taser shot, which failed to strike Kemp, Porras said.
Kemp was able to reach a 1959 Piper fixed-wing, single-engine plane and climbed inside.
“By that point, airport (staff) had used a truck to block the plane,” Porras said.
One of the officers used a knife to puncture a tire on the plane, she said.
Emil Kemp was arrested on an outstanding municipal warrant, Porras said.
Porras said the brothers are the owners of the Piper aircraft involved in the incident. Federal Aviation Administration records show it is owned by Kemp Bros. Aviation, which offers aviation instruction based out of 2796 Cheyenne Drive in Grand Junction.
The business was incorporated in 2007 by Roger and Emil Kemp, according to state business records.