Police arrested a man on suspicion of criminal trespassing at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Zackaria Mohamud Mudasir, 39, was also booked into jail on charges of criminal damage and failure to provide a true and lawful name.
Phoenix police said Mr. Mudasir was seen entering the secure area of Terminal 2 from the closed jetway on the airfield at Gate 3 around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday.
Police said they caught up to Mr. Mudasir, who failed to produce identification and provided a false name to an officer.
He gave several differing accounts of how he got into an area that has “no trespassing” signs.
While in police custody, officers learned an emergency escape slide on a United Airlines aircraft had been deployed.
“The deployed emergency slide would cost the airline approximately forty thousand dollars,” according to court documents released Wednesday.
Police said Mr. Mudasir admitted to activating the slide but said he did not know how he got onto the aircraft. He was jailed in lieu of a $5,000 bond with court dates Aug. 20 and 23.