TORONTO – Usually, the words “low-speed” and “mid-air” aren’t in the same sentence, especially when it comes to police pursuits.

But that’s exactly what unfolded Monday afternoon in the skies over Castaic, California, as Los Angeles County sheriff deputies in helicopters pursued a man in a motorized hang glider they believed dropped contraband into the yard at Peter J. Pitchess Detention Center.

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“We have several open compounds, so there was concern that somebody might be dropping contraband or there could be some crazy escape attempt. It was really hard to say,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Allen told ABC News-7 in Los Angeles.

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The incident unfolded around 5:30 p.m. Monday afternoon when police spotted the motorized glider in the airspace near the California prison.

Turns out it was all a mistake. The hang glider pilot, identified as 62-year-old Ron Nagin, hadn’t dropped any contraband and said he was merely blown off course by high winds.

So why the pursuit? Turns out there was more than one misunderstanding in the skies of California that afternoon, as Nagin said he didn’t hear police sirens and loudspeaker requests that he land over the sound of his own engine.

Once he did hear them, he said he misunderstood their intentions.

“At first I thought they were just looky-loos, just trying to investigate the sport, but I figured when they cut in front of me twice, I’d better turn around and land,” Nagin said.

By 6:05 p.m., Nagin had landed in a nearby outdoor paintball field and was detained by authorities without incident.

Police later declined to press charges or levy a citation.

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