Viva el aeromozo!

This is pretty much the greatest story ever:

A flight attendant who was arrested after arguing with a passenger on a JetBlue flight -- making a grand exit from the aircraft by grabbing some beers and pulling the emergency chute -- posted $2,500 bail and is out of jail.

Jet Blue employee Steven Slater, 38, of Belle Harbor, Queens, was arraigned Tuesday on reckless endangerment and other charges after the dramatic incident Monday afternoon. Despite the felony charges, Slater's been elevated to folk-hero status by thousands who shrugged off allegations that he endangered others and praised him for his take-this-job-and-shove-it moment.

Slater's mother, Diane, even went so far as to seem proud of her son for his outburst.

"I can understand why he snapped. I would have snapped too," Diane Slater said Tuesday after Steven pleaded not guilty to the various charges against him. "I think he just had a very small meltdown, and I think he deserve to be able to have that meltdown."


Following a heated exchange, the flight attendant told off the entire plane on the public address system, activated an emergency chute near the back of the plane and jumped down the evacuation slide and ran for it.

The Assistant District Attorney said the altercation began before the plane left Pittsburgh, when two passengers got in an argument over an oversized piece of luggage and the overhead compartments.

At the arraignment, defense attorney Howard Turman said Slater was under stress because his mother has lung cancer. Afterward, he provided reporters with a different account of what happened aboard the aircraft than the version initially offered by authorities.

Police had said Slater became angry when after a rule-breaking passenger defied requests to stay seated then accidentally hit him in the head with her luggage.

Turman said the dispute had begun earlier, when the flight was still waiting to take off from Pittsburgh, when two female passengers got into an argument over space in the overhead bins. That's when Slater was struck in the head, Turman said.

The dispute flared up again after the plane landed in New York when one of the women, who had been asked to gate-check her bag, was enraged that it wasn't immediately available.

"The woman was outraged and cursed him out a great deal," Turman said. "At some point, I think he just wanted to avoid conflict with her."

Slater asked for an apology but the irate passenger cursed him out, saying in effect "go f--k yourself" and calling him a "mo-fo," according to law enforcement source

Turman said the woman "cursed him out using the f-word both as a verb and an adjective."

Prosecutors said that at some point, Slater addressed the passengers on the intercom.

"Those of you who have shown dignity and respect these last 20 years, thanks for a great ride," he said, according to prosecutors.

Slater then activated the aircraft emergency slide on door R-2, proceeded to the chute, looked down to ensure that nobody was below it as he had been trained to do, and he deployed the device and went down it safely, his attorney said.

He also grabbed some beer from the galley before he took the plunge and then headed for the AirTrain, where other passengers from the flight reportedly saw him on the way home.

Slater was later arrested at his home in Belle Harbor by Port Authority officials. Police sources said that when authorities found Slater he seemed to be in the midst having sexual relations.

The above article is written in a manner that's ostensibly just-the-facts, but the author is clearly going for comedic effect, and cleverly pulls it off without being too obvious.

Share this