KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A metro man pleads guilty to crimes stemming from a police chase that ended on a runway at Kansas City’s Downtown Airport.
Efren Torres-Rodriguez, 35, of Olathe, pleaded guilty to one count of disrupting airport airport operations and illegally possessing a firearm.
Kansas City Police responded to the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport on Feb. 1, 2022, to check out a report of a suspicious car.
Court documents show officers found Torres-Rodriguez passed out in the driver’s seat of the running car.
Officers ordered Torres-Rodriguez to get out of the car. Instead, he drove away.
Police followed Torres-Rodriguez as he crashed through a gate to the airfield. Court documents show he drove down the airport runway at speeds up to 100 mph during the chase.
His car became inoperable when he tried to drive through a grassy area.
After arresting Torres-Rodriguez, officers searched him and his car. Officers found a clear plastic bag in his pants pocket that contained methamphetamine. They also found a gun, ammunition, and drug paraphernalia in his car.
Torres-Rodriguez is a convicted felon and is not allowed to have any guns or ammunition in his possession.
The police chase caused the airport to close for 40 minutes. Planes were not allowed to take off or land, according to court documents.
Torres-Rodriguez also destroyed the gate and damaged the airport’s fence that is designed to keep trespassers and animals away from runways.
Torres-Rodriguez faces up to 30 years in prison without parole when he is sentenced.