An air operations employee saw Ardell Walker on the runway at 3 p.m. Saturday and called police, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Walker had his right hand in his pocket, and when a responding police sergeant ordered him to stop and show his hands, the suspect ran away.
The sergeant chased Walker on foot and air operations officials pursued him in vehicles, the Tribune said.
The chase reached an American Airlines plane, which was taxiing.
Police held up their guns and again ordered Walker to stop and show his hands.
When Walker refused, the police sergeant wrestled him to the ground and took him into custody, the report said.
Walker was charged with felony criminal trespassing to an airport's restricted area and a misdemeanor count of resisting a police officer, the Tribune reported.
Walker, who suffered a gash on his leg, and the sergeant, whose hands were cut, were treated at the police station by paramedics.
Police said they are not sure why Walker was on the runway.