Thursday, September 24, 2009
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, September 24, 2009
(09-24) 10:10 PDT CONCORD -- A private pilot suspected of repeatedly flying his small plane at low altitudes over a Concord neighborhood where his ex-girlfriend lives has been arrested on suspicion of stalking, police said today.
Tom Huey, 51, was arrested at Buchanan Field Airport in Concord about 6:40 p.m. Wednesday, shortly after he landed, police said.
Huey, who lives in Concord, is being held at Contra Costa County Jail on suspicion of stalking and violating a domestic violence restraining order. His bail was set at $150,000.
"It appears that the motivation behind this situation is the result of a failed domestic relationship," said Concord police Capt. Jim Lardieri.
The arrest came hours after police served Huey with the restraining order Wednesday at Buchanan Field, Lardieri said.
Later that evening, residents of the Canterbury Village neighborhood in Concord near Treat Boulevard and Clayton Road reported that a plane had made eight passes at low altitude, authorities said. Huey's ex-girlfriend lives in the area, police said.
Police believe Huey has buzzed the neighborhood in his 1957 Beech numerous times since April 2008, after Huey and his girlfriend broke up.
Residents have repeatedly called police and airport officials to complain, authorities said. One resident believed that a rock that shattered a car's windshield was linked to one of the flights because the vandalism apparently coincided with a flyover.
"We are an airport, so we do get noise complaints. That's not uncommon," said Keith Freitas, director of Buchanan Field. "The unusual part of this is, usually it's a one-time fly-by kind of thing.
"What the neighbors have been telling us is (the plane has) been circling or hovering or orbiting over their homes," Freitas said. "So it's a compounded nuisance, to say the least."
Earlier this month, residents reported finding flyers in the neighborhood that referred to the woman and included a racial slur. Police believe the flyers may have been dropped from the plane, authorities said.
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