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Carmichael man held in Las Vegas airport panic likely had mental health episode, attorney says

Sacramento Bee - 8/17/2022

The Carmichael man arrested in Nevada last weekend after panicking passengers at Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport likely had a mental health episode and now awaits a September competency hearing, his attorney said Wednesday.

Stefan Mathias Hutchison, 33, faced a Las Vegas Justice Court judge Wednesday morning for the early Sunday airport incident.

Hutchison remains held at Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas ahead of a scheduled Sept. 9 hearing in Las Vegas District Court, attorney Michael Troiano said Wednesday.

Troiano recommended Hutchison be visited by doctors to evaluate his mental state. If the Carmichael man is found competent, he will return to Las Vegas Justice Court.

Troiano offered a brief statement on Hutchison to The Sacramento Bee Wednesday afternoon.

“Mr. Hutchison is an educated, hardworking, tax paying citizen, with family and friends who love him,” Troiano said. “Although it’s still early in our investigation, it seems evident that a mental health episode with absolutely no criminal intent on behalf of my client may have led to a disturbance at Harry Reid International Airport.”

Hutchison reportedly knocked over metal objects in the airport’s terminal about 4:30 a.m. Sunday. The objects were metal stanchions bowled over as Hutchinson ran through a secured door at an airport terminal, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The noise was mistaken for gunfire, sending passengers bolting from security lines. The chaos forced Transportation Security Administration screening agents to rescreen passengers and airlines to delay numerous flights.

Hutchison was arrested by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police on allegations of burglary in the Sunday incident. A day earlier, on Saturday, Hutchison was arrested at the airport after walking past TSA agents at a security checkpoint and later walking away from an airport newsstand with a pair of sunglasses, according to the Review-Journal.

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