Monday, November 16, 2009


Griffin, Georgia (SafeCITY) - Dan Wayne Gryder, a well known air show pilot and owner of a vintage DC-3 aircraft was arrested Wednesday after he fled police in an airplane and then threatened to hit the officer's car with it.

According to police, aviation code enforcement officers were attempting to cite Gryder after witnesses reported seeing him drive his vehicle across airport runways and taxi lanes.

When the officers made contact with Gryder, he initially denied that he was Dan Gryder. When the officers on scene ran a check and confirmed the man they were talking to was indeed Gryder, Gryder jumped into his aircraft and ignited the aircraft's engines.

An officer's life was placed in danger due to his proximity to the plane's engines.

Gryder then told the officers that if they did not move their car, he would strike the vehicle with his plane. The officers barely got to the car and moved it away in time to avoid a collision with the aircraft.

Investigators say Gryder's escape plan came to a dead end when he maneuvered the aircraft to the end of the runway and then realized he was low on fuel. Gryder demanded police send him a fuel truck, however, police weren't having any part of it.

"It appears that Gryder did not have enough fuel for a flight," said Sgt. John Hayes. "We were not going to help him leave the ground."

Gryder eventually returned the aircraft to the hanger, where he was taken into custody.

Gryder was booked into the Spalding County Jail on two counts of aggravated assault and one count of obstruction of an officer. Additional charges may be pending, including the revocation of Gryder's aviation license.

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