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Flight Attendant Out on Bail

Flight Attendant Out on Bail


The JetBlue flight attendant who was arrested Monday after arguing with a passenger and exiting the plane by pulling the emergency chute posted bail Tuesday night and walked out of jail.

Defense attorney Howard Turman said the incident between Steven Slater and two female passengers started before the flight took off in Pittsburgh, despite reports that the entire altercation happened just after noon when the flight landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

According to The New York Times, "After a dispute with a passenger who stood to fetch luggage too soon on a full flight just in from Pittsburgh, Mr. Slater, 38 and a career flight attendant, got on the public-address intercom and let loose a string of invective.

"Then, the authorities said, he pulled the lever that activates the emergency-evacuation chute and slid down, making a dramatic exit not only from the plane but, one imagines, also from his airline career."

Witnesses said the passenger cursed at Slater, who was hit in the head with the luggage. Slater demanded an apology, but the passenger refused, which appeared to prompt the outburst and emergency exit. Slater reportedly grabbed a couple of beers from the beverage cart and addressed the entire plane over the intercom on his way out.

"To the fucking asshole who told me to fuck off, it's been a good 28 years," Slater reportedly yelled. "I've had it. That's it,"

Once off the plane, Slater raced to his parked car and drove home to Queens. He was later arrested and charged with felony counts of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment, according to the Times.

According to reports, Slater was in bed with his boyfriend when he was arrested.

Friends said that Slater spent most of his time off work in California, where he cared for his ailing mother, a former flight attendant, as he had for his late father, a pilot.Turman said Slater was stressed because his mother is dying of lung cancer.

Slater is being charged with second- and fourth-degree criminal mischief, first- and second-degree reckless endangerment, and criminal trespass in the third degree, according to a spokeswoman for Queens district attorney Richard Brown. Slater faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

The Facebook page "Free Steven Slater" has 7,200 fans as of 11 a.m. Pacific time Tuesday.

Slater, who worked for Delta before JetBlue, had been a flight attendant for 20 years. He is due back in court September 7.

Watch his first interview with reporters here.

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