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A Hawaii resident made it onto the airplane, but the plane never made it into the air when he tried to leave New Jersey with a child, in violation of a court order, authorities said Tuesday.  The Jersey Journal reports.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said relatives of the child contacted Perth Amboy police on Nov. 29, 2015, to report that Joel Paula, 32, of Hilo, Hawaii had a custodial visit with the child, but failed to return the youngster at a designated time.

Paula is charged with second degree interfering with custody of a child and fourth degree contempt of a court order.

Carey said Perth Amboy police Detective Liza Capo learned that Paula left a vehicle at Newark Liberty International Airport and that he and the child were boarding a plane for Phoenix, Arizona.

He said county Detective Sgt. Marc Levy alerted federal authorities who intercepted the plane before takeoff.

The prosecutor said officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with assistance from officials of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration ordered the plane to stop and return to the departure gate.

Carey said the officers boarded the plane, removed Paula and the child and returned the child to relatives.

Paula was released after posting $100,000 bail.

“This was a successful team effort by law enforcement officers whose goal was to protect the safety of this child,” Carey said. “We understand the hardships that face couples who separate, but regardless of those difficulties, the best interests of children are paramount. This is why court orders must be obeyed.”

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