LOS ANGELES - A naked man climbed a fence at Los Angeles International Airport, ran across the tarmac and climbed into the wheel well of a departing plane before firefighters talked him out, airport officials said.

The 31-year-old Canadian man, who was described as mentally unstable, had been turned away hours earlier when he tried to buy a ticket on a Qantas Airways flight to Australia with only a credit card receipt.

Neil Melly told authorities he stripped naked to protest the airline's decision to deny him a ticket, said Nancy Castles, an airport spokeswoman.

In the incident Monday, baggage handlers saw Melly climb over an 8-foot barbed-wire fence and sprint to the Boeing 747 as it backed away from the gate.

He climbed into a landing gear wheel well of the plane, which came to a stop. He initially ignored police officers' commands to come out, but complied when city firefighters arrived. Melly later was booked on trespassing charges.

Melly suffered from bipolar disorder and had been listed as a missing person in Canada, Castles said.


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