Mass. plane passenger arrested; tried to open door

Associated Press
Robert J. Hersey, 43, of Arlington, Mass., is arraigned at the East Boston Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department Wednesday, May 11, 2011.  Hersey allegedly tried to open one of the emergency exits of Delta Flight 1102 during a flight from Orlando to Boston on Tuesday night.  (AP Photo/Aram Boghosian, Pool)

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A Massachusetts man who allegedly tried to open an emergency door on a flight to Boston has pleaded not guilty to interfering with the operation on an aircraft.

Robert Hersey of Arlington on Wednesday was ordered held on $1,000 bail after an incident his attorney called a "non-event."

Prosecutors say the 43-year-old Hersey tampered with the plane's emergency exit door during the Delta flight from Orlando, Fla. A Delta spokeswoman says an off-duty police officer subdued Hersey.

Passengers say he'd been drinking and appeared upset when the flight was late.

His attorney, Ron Wayland, says Hersey accidentally touched the cover for the door, the cover fell off and he replaced it. Wayland says that caused a light to go off and the pilot to order Hersey moved to another seat.

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