The former principal of the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Clement Sankat says the focus of his family now is to provide "all the legal, mental, emotional and parental support possible" to his 22-year-old son who was arrested in the United States on Thursday and charged for trying to steal a passenger jet at an Orlando airport.
At around 2 a.m., the student drove to the hangar when the A321 aircraft was parked, left his vehicle running, and boarded the plane.
Airport spokeswoman Lori Booker said officials conducted a sweep of the airfield before reopening the airport.
Once aboard the jet, Sankat was caught by the technician and his supervisor, who held him at the scene. The employees asked for the student's identity and badge.
Education Minister Anthony Garcia says the incident involving 22-year-old Nishal Sankat is a further wake up call for a better understanding of mental health and wellness in T&T. Authorities are working to determine a motive and whether the incident was isolated, Booker said. Sankat, a student at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) where he is studying aviation management, is charged with unarmed burglary of an occupied conveyance, trespassing and grand theft of the aircraft.
No federal charges have been filed, but the FBI is investigating. He tried to break away while being walked out by police but was quickly taken under control, Purden said.
The aviation workers who helped capture Sankat work the overnight shift and were unavailable for interviews, officials said, because the heroes were sleeping after a long night.
Orlando-Melbourne is a popular airport for overhaul and maintenance, Booker said, and it's not unusual to have as many as eight jets parked on the tarmac outside the fix center. Authorities searched the red sedan with a robotic arm before towing it away around 7:30 a.m. Sankat's home also was searched, Gillespie said.
The specific plane, the American Airlines Airbus A321, last flew out of Miami on Sunday and was scheduled to fly back at noon on Thursday, according to CNN. Only two flights were affected by the closure. He has been a student at the Florida Institute of Technology since 2014, has a Florida driver's license and a commercial pilot's license. "You're coming off this airplane.' I put him on the ground at the entrance door, got him on that golf cart, and we went into the hangar".