PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD — An American tourist was killed after throwing himself into the engine of a taxiing jetliner at Piarco International Airport, police said.

Airports Authority chairman Winston Suite said the bizarre death Sunday night was an apparent suicide.

Police said Daniel John O'Brien, 31, of Roselle, Ill., near Chicago, scaled an airport wall in the nude, attacked four security guards and stole their four-wheel-drive vehicle.

The nude O'Brien attacked four guards, stole their jeep, drove it into a plane, then threw himself into the engine. Whew!

He drove the jeep onto the tarmac to a British Airways 747 that was readying for takeoff, smashing the vehicle's top. Guards said O'Brien scrambled out the wreckage, smeared grease on his bleeding shoulder, then ran back to the jetliner and threw himself into the engine.

O'Brien had been vacationing with a friend on Tobago, Trinidad's sister island in the Caribbean, and was to fly home Monday. Other details were not immediately available.


Three days later The Chicago Tribune reported that O'Brien had been suffering from "disorientation" after being unable to find an unnamed medication for an unnamed health problem. O'Brien's rampage apparently began at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday when, according to the American consul, O'Brien's travelling partner was awakened by O'Brien's attempts to throttle him. The friend fought off O'Brien, who then, naked, fled the hotel. After scaling two barbed wire fences, O'Brien attacked the security guards.

After crashing his stolen vehicle into the jet no one seemed immediately aware of what had happened to O'Brien. "The police told me that he had actually driven off after the crash into the one engine, about 150 meters," said the consul. "And that he went back on foot to the airplane." An airport official said, "Nobody ever thought in his wildest dreams that that was what he was going to do."