Flight Attendant Blows His Top, Yells at Passengers and Bolts Down Emergency Slide

Posted Aug 10th 2010 07:48 AMUpdated Aug 21st 2010 06:13 PM

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People describe Steven Slater as a nice guy, but yesterday the flight attendant for JetBlue apparently totally lost control following an argument with a passenger.

Slater was working on a flight from Pittsburgh that had landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, when he was hit on the head by a bag a passenger was pulling out early from an overhead compartment.

According to the New York Daily News, words were exchanged and Slater's reaction was to blow his top. He spewed profanity at stunned passengers, grabbed a beer and activated the plane's emergency slide, then bolted off the plane.

Passengers told the News as part of his rant, Slater, 38, said he planned to quit the airline.


"He seemed kind of happy about it. He was like, 'I just quit my job,'" says passenger Phil Catelinet, 36, of Brooklyn.

Slater got on the AirTrain that takes travelers into the city, but his bizarre behavior continued when he stripped off his tie and threw it at train passengers.

It was unclear how long Slater had worked for JetBlue, but there were some reports he had worked for airlines for 20 years.

JetBlue reported the incident, but police did not arrive until Slater had left the scene. He was arrested at his beachfront home in the Rockaways.

Slater was reportedly smiling when police led him away in handcuffs and when he was later charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.

"It's pretty much the craziest thing I've ever seen on a plane," says passenger Catelinet.

The brother of Slater's partner says he was "dumbfounded" by the wacky incident. "He's an everyday ordinary guy, a nice guy," John Rochelle, 39, tells the News.

A JetBlue co-worker who was on the flight, calls Slater a working-class hero.

"It's something we all fantasize about," she tells the newspaper. "But we have kids and a mortgage or are just too chicken - or sane - to go through with [it]."

Photo, mrkathika, flickr
Filed Under: News

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