Jamie Crabtree, a 32-year-old Key Largo native, just wanted to leave — the Keys, Florida, America, you name it.
So Wednesday night, according to a police report, Crabtree boarded a Greyhound bus headed for Key West. There, the five-foot-ten, hazel-eyed drifter made his way to Key West International Airport. He jumped a barbed-wire fence. In the dark, he spotted a small Delta plane sitting on the tarmac.
Crabtree approached the plane. He figured out how to break the door seal and then climbed inside. He made his way to the cargo area. Exhausted, he fell asleep.
Within a few hours, though, Crabtree's international travel dreams were squashed. Just after 6 a.m. Wednesday, Delta employees found the sleeping stowaway and notified police about "an intruder inside their aircraft."
"I asked Mr. Crabtree how he got into the restricted area," Key West Police Officer Maureen Smith wrote in her report. "He said he jumped the barbed wire fencing with no trespassing signs by the Fed Ex building and walked over to the Delta aircraft because he wanted to leave the country."
Crabtree was escorted to jail. He was charged with one count of third-degree burglary, a felony, and one count of second-degree trespassing, a misdemeanor.
"He committed the offense... with the intent [of] stowing away on the Delta aircraft," the report says. "By doing so he was attempting to deprive the airline of the travel fare."
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.