A Florida man busted for jumping out of a taxiing Delta flight at LaGuardia Airport said he was having a panic attack — and only made the bold move with his girlfriend and service dog because the crew refused to turn around and let them off.
“I got anxiety and depression,” Antonio Murdock said outside Queens Criminal Court, where he was charged with trespassing and reckless endangerment on Tuesday.
“It was a panic attack,” Murdock said. “I asked them three or four times to let me off. They said they were stopping the plane and they never stopped the plane, and I got to the point where I was just feeling dizzy.”
“I didn’t even know there was a slot to go down the slide,” he said. “I just thought it was a regular door. I don’t know what I was thinking at the time. I wasn’t doing a criminal act.”
Murdock, 31, and his 23-year-old girlfriend, Brianna Greco, were aboard Delta Flight 462 on their way to Atlanta around 11 a.m. Monday when they opened the cabin door and jumped down the inflatable emergency slide at the Queens airport.
They took their Great Dane puppy, Rain, down with them, authorities said.
Queens Assistant District Attorney Robin Kwalbrun asked for Murdock to be held on bail, citing prior criminal cases and $173,000 in damage to the Airbus A321 from the stunt.
But Legal Aid attorney Julian Oladiran, asked for his client to be released without bail.
“I don’t see any harm or anything allegedly done to the stewardess except the statement that he made that he wanted to get off the plane.”
Judge Toko Serita agree to release Murdock without bail and issued an order of protection to keep him from getting in touch with the flight attendant.
Asked about the damage to the plane, Murdock said he had “no idea about that.”
“I didn’t commit a crime. I have mental health issues,” he said. “People make mistakes.”