August 9th, 2010
10:06 PM ET

Angry flight attendant escapes via evacuation chute

Police arrested a flight attendant Monday suspected of triggering an emergency escape chute on a plane parked at a JFK Airport terminal, a spokeswoman for the district attorney said.

Steven Slater was arrested at his home and charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and criminal trespass, said Helen Peterson at the Queens District Attorney's Office.

The incident took place just after the Jet Blue flight landed when a passenger stood to remove a bag from the overhead bin while the plane was still taxiing, a law enforcement source with direct knowledge said. A flight attendant exchanged words with the passenger, and the conversation escalated.

Slater picked up the intercom and used expletives directed at the passengers, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation. It is not clear exactly what was said on the intercom. The source said that when the plane stopped at the gate, Slater then grabbed some beer from the beverage cart before deploying the emergency slide and using it to leave the plane.

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Filed under: Air travel • New York
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. LT

    Missing the crucial point in the story. The Flight attendant was hurt after the luggage fell on top of his head. Now, If I was him, i would sue the passenger and Jet Blue for causing an injury due to negligence.

    August 9, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. big mike

    "Grabbed some beer from the beverage cart before deploying the emergency slide and using it to leave the plane". This guy's the man! I'm just picturing him hitting the ground, popping a Heineken and walking away without even looking back once.

    August 10, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Xerxes2010

      Nah, wasn't a Heineken, it was Smirnoff! He did look back only to flip-off everyone on board. Then performed the Electric Slide all the way home!

      October 25, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. tammera fortner

    I only wish I had this guy's courage. I don't because I need the paultry pay.

    August 10, 2010 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Zorba

    Everybody off the FAILplane!

    August 10, 2010 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. Juan

    There's so much BS a flight attendant can take. He was pretty much assaulted by the passenger, physically and emotionally. Bravo to him also for an amazing exit.

    August 10, 2010 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lydia

    As a former frequent flier I can understand this man's frustration with clueless passengers. There are almost always those aboard who think the rules do not apply to them. This is usually when these types of accidents happen. However, that does not excuse the flight attendant who fled the scene. These people are supposed to be in charge, and should make sure that passengers are safe. When they leave the scene the passengers are left unprotected.

    August 10, 2010 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lois

    This guy is my hero! Working with the public is not a picnic. Jet Blue needs to handle this carefully...future passengers will be watching their reaction.

    August 10, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tech

    this guy is my idol. thats some bad ass rockstar sh**

    August 11, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. adam smith

    This time, the flight attendant was justified. BUT, the majority of the time, the flight attendants deserve the grief they receive as they do not enforce the one bag in the overhead bin, don't help with keeping families together, and will lie to your face about something not being available just so they don't have to deal with you. I can count at least a dozen occurrances of these examples and I don't fly that much. How many times have overhead bins been closed by FAs because they were "full" only for me to find there is plenty of room if you rearrange the bags. They've even argued about it. They, for the most part, deserve the grief. Must be the salary cutbacks making them cross.

    August 11, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Deeno

    I agree with Lydia that the guy overreacted. However, he should be able to recomend with the other passengers as witnesses that the uncooperative passenger be put on the No-Fly List.

    August 11, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. maripil

    The flight attendant was just so tired and fed up with stupid and unruly passengers who just refuse to understand the rules of flying!!

    August 11, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xerxes2010

      The "steward" should flat out Cowboy Punched that passenger, or Uppercut them...backed away and say "Who else wants their luggage while we're still taxing, whooooo!!!" "Are you not Entertained!!!!???"-Maximus "Gladiator"

      October 25, 2010 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. lisa kintzle

    Way to go! Don't we all wish we had your courage!

    August 11, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sarah

    The only thing more idiodic than this blatant act of selfish stupidity are the morons who actually condone what he did. I hope I am never at the mercy of a flight attendant who has a complete disregard for the safety of his passengers and coworkers.

    August 13, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mask2697

    this would be funny if it didn't happen 2 MONTHS AGO!!!!!

    October 24, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |