CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Three men were released Tuesday after being questioned at Yeager Airport by FBI agents after they were found near one of the airport's navigation aides.
"They were probably up just out there walking around and were not up to any intended mischief," said Yeager Airport Director Rick Atkinson. "They got a warning and were told not to trespass on airport or FAA property and they were told that if they were up there again, they would be arrested for trespassing."
The men are all related, all from Kanawha City and between the ages of 19 and 26.
A Coonskin Park policeman found the men, apparently of Middle Eastern descent, in the vicinity of one of the many airport navigation aides scattered around the park.
Navigation aides can be anything from radios to weather instruments to lights that help airplanes land, Atkinson said. Each of the navigation aides is fenced in and owned by the Federal Aviation Administration.
According to Atkinson, the police officer was suspicious when he found the men's van parked deep into Coonskin Park, near one of the navigation towers in an area of the park where there aren't many other things to do. Also, the park officer allegedly ticketed one of the men last week for having an expired registration sticker on the van, according to Atkinson.
The park officer called Yeager Airport police. When the men saw the police, they took off running.
They were caught and questioned at the airport by the FBI, the federal Transportation Security Administration, the Charleston Police Department and the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department.
The men said that they did not cross onto FAA property, and Kanawha County sheriff's deputies who went to the scene said they could see muddy footprints and saw that they stopped before the property changed over, Atkinson said.
Reach Kathryn Gregory at kathr...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.