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Arlington Man Accused Of Trying To Open Emergency Door During Flight

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Robert Hersey was arraigned at East Boston Municipal Court Wednesday, May 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Aram Boghosian, Pool)

Robert Hersey was arraigned at East Boston Municipal Court Wednesday, May 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Aram Boghosian, Pool)

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BOSTON (CBS) – An Arlington man who allegedly tried to open an emergency door on a Delta flight from Orlando to Boston was released on $1,000 bail Wednesday and ordered to stay away from alcohol.
WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

State Police arrested 43-year-old Robert Hersey late Tuesday night at Logan Airport on a charge of interfering with a flight crew, shortly after Flight 1102 landed.

He was arraigned Wednesday in East Boston District Court.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports

Passengers said he had been drinking and halfway into the flight he tried to open the emergency exit door.

Read: Passenger: ‘He Knew He’d Messed Up’ In Emergency Door Incident

WBZ-TV’s Sera Congi reports

An alarm went off and the flight crew and off-duty Weymouth police officer John Riley subdued Hersey.

“The flight attendants they actually brought him to the back of the plane and put him in between two different people so he couldn’t get up,” an unidentified passenger told WBZ-TV.

Riley was one of the people assigned to sit next to Hersey for the remainder of the flight.  He says after a little while, Hersey opened up to him. “He just explained that it was just a dumb thing to do,” said Riley. “After speaking with him for a little bit, I didn’t think he was going to be a threat.”

No one was hurt.

A Delta spokesperson said it’s nearly impossible to open the door because of the cabin pressure during the flight.

Hersey’s attorney Ron Wayland told reporters Wednesday it was all a misunderstanding.

“Here’s a guy who was coming from Orlando on a long flight.  He hit the casing for the exit door, if you’re familiar with that.  The casing came off (and) it activated the light in the cockpit,” Wayland said.

“So then the flight attendant came down and said we have to move you.  No problem.  They moved him.”

Wayland said his client was moved to the next open seat, which happened to be next to an off-duty Weymouth police officer.  He said they talked about the Bruins for the rest of the flight.

Hersey was wearing a Bruins shirt when he was arrested.

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