The passengers opened a cabin door, activating the slide, and took off as the Delta flight bound for Atlanta, Ga., was taxiing out of the runway at around 10:55 a.m., according to law enforcement sources and an airline spokesman.
Antonio Murdock, 31, told Port Authority cops that his post-traumatic stress disorder was triggered on the plane, the sources said.
He and his female companion, 23-year-old Brianna Greco, were arrested in the incident.
Brian Plummer, who was also on Flight 462, told The New York Times he spotted the pair and their pooch changing seats several times as the plane was preparing to depart.
Then, the man shot up from his seat, telling a flight attendant he couldn’t sit down because of his post-traumatic stress disorder.
“If I sit down, I’ll freak out,” the man said, according to Plummer.
Murdock and Greco, both of Florida, were charged with criminal trespass, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration, the sources said.
No one was injured in the incident.
The plane, which had been scheduled to take off shortly before 10 a.m., returned to the gate where the rest of the passengers were put on other flights, the airline spokesman said.
“Maintenance technicians have evaluated the aircraft and is scheduled to return to service this evening,” he added in a statement.