Man attempted to steal helicopter at Kissimmee airport after hit-and-run, investigators say

31-year-old Brandon Marti arrested by Osceola deputies

KISSIMMEE, Fla – A man driving a stolen car crashed through a fence at the Kissimmee Gateway Airport, drove onto the active runway and entered a helicopter and started pushing buttons in an attempt to fly it away, according to the Kissimmee Police Department.

Records show the investigation began with a hit-and-run crash near the intersection of Oak Street and Forrest Avenue shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday.

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Police said a man involved in that crash, 31-year-old Brandon Marti, then broke into an occupied home off Forrest Avenue, took a pair of car keys and drove off in a silver Nissan Altima parked in the driveway.

Marti — a former football player for the University of Miami, records show — then drove that stolen car to Kissimmee Gateway Airport, where he rammed it into a gate, leaving the car inoperable, according to the affidavit.

Police said he then ran to a Ford F-150 and got into an altercation with the truck’s owner as that man tried to prevent Marti from stealing the truck but he was unsuccessful and instead ended up being dragged by the truck.

Marti then drove the truck to a helicopter, got inside, turned the keys in the ignition and pressed buttons in an attempt to start the aircraft, according to the report.

Security guards confronted him and after a verbal altercation, Marti drove off in the stolen Ford, authorities said.

Osceola County deputies said they managed to blow out the truck’s tires after a short pursuit.

The truck stopped at the entrance to Partin Village Shipping Plaza and Marti then attempted to carjack another driver, according to the release. Deputies zapped Marti with a Taser and then handcuffed him, the sheriff’s office said.

Brandon Marti, 31 (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Kissimmee police said Marti is facing charges of carjacking, burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief in their jurisdiction. Deputies said Marti has been charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, attempted carjacking, fleeing and eluding and resisting arrest.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.