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US Man, Facing Criminal Charges for Jumping Out of Moving Flight, Claims he Had Panic Attack

Image used for representation. (AFP)

Image used for representation. (AFP)

The man, who has been identified as 31 years old Antonio Murdock, faces charges of criminal trespass, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment while his 23 years old girlfriend Brianna Greco has been charged for criminal trespass.

A US-based couple, who had recently exited from Delta Air Lines plane along with their pet dog, were arrested and were charged with third-degree trespass. The man, identified as 31 years old Antonio Murdock, faces charges of criminal trespass, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment while his 23-year-old girlfriend Brianna Greco has been charged for criminal trespass. Currently, both of them have been released.

According to a report in CNN, it was a panic attack that forced Antonio to make that move. He told the news portal, "I panicked. I have panic attacks. That is it. I did not hurt anybody."

The absolutely random incident took place on the Atlanta at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York-bound flight on Monday, December 21. The couple was released after arraignment. However, Murdock will have to be present in the court again on February 21 while his girlfriend Greco will have to appear on March 21. As reported earlier, after the couple jumped off, all other passengers were deplaned back at the gate and were accommodated in alternative flights. But before that the plane sat on the tarmac for more than an hour before it returned.

Morgan Durrant, Delta spokesman said, "Maintenance technicians have evaluated the aircraft, and (it) is scheduled to return to service." While, the couple was arrested, their 60 pounds service dog was sent to Animal Care Centers of NYC's Brooklyn shelter. After being released Brianna Greco was given a receipt to get back their 8 months old dog named Rain.

A man who was a witness to the entire drama revealed that he had exchanged his seat with the duo so that they could accommodate the dog. He also mentioned that Antonio was in fact a soft-spoken man and he did not find anything suspicious about the couple.

The witness also mentions that four apparent passengers also ran towards the couple to stop them. However, he has also clarified that he did not see the moment when the couple and their dog jumped out. He only recollects that the pilot had made the announcement that the slide of the aircraft has been deployed. At that moment there was no announcement regarding passengers jumping out through it.

This entire episode started after Antonio remarked that he cannot sit inside the plane. A flight attendant said that the man claimed that he needs to get off the plane and will pop the door open if he is not allowed to step out.

first published:December 27, 2020, 09:15 IST