The passenger who allegedly slid out of a moving Delta Air Lines plane via the emergency exit slide explained his side of the story at an arraignment hearing Tuesday. Antonio Murdock, 31, said he was afraid he would lose control if he didn't get off the Atlanta-bound flight Monday, CNN reports. As it taxied at New York's LaGuardia Airport, he and his companion Brianna Greco, 23, and their 60-pound service dog allegedly forced open the cabin door and deployed the inflatable slide. The Florida couple was arrested and faces criminal trespass charges; Murdock also faces charges of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment. Murdock and Grego got their Greyhound back from a Brooklyn animal shelter Wednesday morning, the New York Post reports.
"I panicked. I have panic attacks. That's it. I didn't hurt anybody," Murdock told reporters as he left the hearing. "I have mental health issues. ... 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." A fellow passenger who had agreed at the gate to switch seats with the couple so they could accommodate their dog says Murdock seemed "soft spoken" and the couple was pleasant. When the commotion started with the couple attempting to switch seats again and allegedly refusing requests to sit down, he says, "I do actually remember thinking, 'Well, you guys just asked me to swap rows with you because you wanted to be in the back, and now all of a sudden you decided you want to be forward.'" (Witnesses overheard Murdock say he has PTSD.)