Pilot who landed at NJ military facility finally turns himself in
CAPE MAY —The man who police said piloted a single-engine plane that illegally landed at a Coast Guard facility before running off has turned himself in.
Jimmy Dahlen Jr., 50, was taken into custody at the Cape May Prosecutor's Office after he contacted them on Wednesday. He was transported to the Cape May City police headquarters where he was charged with fourth-degree criminal trespass. He was being held at the Cape May County Correctional Institute. Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland said additional charges are possible.
Sutherland did not disclose where Dahlen went after he fled the plane.
Several videos captured the small plane flying low over Cape May before it landed on the beach of the Coast Guard Training Center around 8 p.m. Sunday. Police said Dahlen — who is a student pilot — fled the scene.
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The Coast Guard Investigate Service, along with the FBI, Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.
Dahlen is a mechanic for Paramount Air Services, the banner plane company that owns the Piper PA12. Barbara Tomalino, the company's president and owner who is also Dahlen's stepmother, said he stole the plane Sunday night but she did not know why.
"This is so bizarre. It really is. It's totally insane," Tomalino said Tuesday. "On a personal and professional basis it's a bit much."
She said co-workers said everything was normal with Dahlen earlier on Sunday and nothing was unusual about his behavior.
The plane wasn't damaged and Paramount employees removed the plane from the beach.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report