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Steven Slater is an American flight attendant who had an altercation with a passenger and abruptly exited via the evacuation slide aboard JetBlue Airways Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh to New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport, shortly after landing around 11:45am EDT on August 9, 2010.

Slater's career as a flight attendant began in 1994, starting with Business Express Airlines, and later working for Trans World Airlines and Delta Air Lines.[1]

IncidentEdit

Slater claimed that as JetBlue Flight 1052 taxied to a stop at JFK Airport, a passenger stood up to retrieve his or her bag from the overhead compartment. He instructed the passenger to remain seated, but was struck in the head by the passenger's bag as it was removed. When Slater requested an apology, the passenger responded with profane language.[2]

Passenger Phil Catelinet said Slater spoke profanity over the plane's public address system, adding at the end, "I've been in this business 20 years. And that's it, I'm done."[3] He then activated the emergency inflatable slide, grabbed two beers and slid down the chute.[4] Slater then reportedly ran to his car and drove to his home in Belle Harbor, Queens.[5][6]

Arrest and bailEdit

Later that day, Slater was arrested at his home[7] and charged with 2nd- and 4th-degree criminal mischief, 1st- and 2nd-degree reckless endangerment and criminal trespass in the 3rd degree.[8] Slater pleaded not guilty to the charges. Having failed to post bail of $2,500, he was held at the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center, a South Bronx jail on a floating barge.[8] Bail was posted on August 10, and he was released that night. Slater's defense attorney, Howard Turman, said that Slater did not endanger anyone when he activated the emergency slide.[9]

Template:Asof, the alleged passenger who caused the bag to hit Slater's head and who cursed at him has not been identified. Judge Mary O'Donoghue has granted an order of protection preventing Slater from contacting the pilot or the JetBlue employee who investigated the incident.[8][10][11][12][13][14]

JetBlue has been accused by Port Authority Police of waiting 25 minutes before notifying authorities of the incident. It has also come under criticism from police for initially refusing to hand over the flight manifest. Additionally, it has also not provided videos of the incident despite Port Authority Police requests.[15]

DefenseEdit

Turman has given a different version in which the altercation had been between two female passengers over allocation of overhead spaces at the beginning of the flight from Pittsburgh, and it was then that Slater was hit on the head. Once the plane landed, the dispute flared again when one of the women, told that a bag she had been asked to gate-check would not be immediately available, started to curse him.[8]

Turman said Slater was personally affected by the events of TWA Flight 800 and the September 11 attacks, having lost friends in both incidents.[1]

Accounts given by passengers and other aircraft personnelEdit

Investigators have interviewed more than 90 percent of the passengers who were on the flight. None have corroborated Slater's account of a confrontation with a passenger.[16][17]

A female passenger, 53-year-old Marjorie Briskin, gave a very different account of the events on that flight, and claimed the incident was started by Slater. Briskin said that a woman walking in front of her asked Slater where her bag was stowed. The conversation appeared to be normal at first, until it became heated when Slater blurted out an expletive to the passenger. Briskin noticed a gash on Slater's head. At the end of the flight, Briskin claimed that Slater began opening and slamming shut the overhead storage compartments and that he "looked disturbed." Some other passengers have also claimed that Slater was rude at the start of the flight and acted strangely, while other passengers say that they did not witness any outbursts or arguments, and that they did not hear any offensive announcements over the public address system.[18]

Police have also said that interviews with passengers and crew suggest that Slater may have been drinking before boarding the flight. Fellow crew said his eyes appeared bloodshot and passengers said he was drinking during the flight,[19] with one passenger saying to police he "knew a drunk when he saw one, and Slater was drunk onboard and shouldn't have been allowed to fly."[20]

Some passengers claim Slater already had a cut on his head when he boarded the aircraft, according to a statement from a Port Authority officer.[21]

Public reactionEdit

A Facebook page set up in Slater's honor had over 160,000 "likes" by August 12,[22] and featured comments lauding his actions and calling for the arrest of the passenger who allegedly struck him.[23]

See alsoEdit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Steven Slater, JetBlue Flight Attendant Out on Bail". ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/US/steven-slater-jetblue-flight-attendant-bail-emergency-slide/story?id=11367793&page=3. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  2. Paul Tatnell and AFP (2010-08-10). "Raging flight attendant makes his own emergency exit". Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/raging-flight-attendant-makes-his-own-emergency-exit-20100810-11ul9.html. 
  3. Shaw, Adrian (2010-08-11). "Air Steward's Amazing Tantrum Over Rude Flier". Daily Mirror. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/08/11/air-steward-s-amazing-tantrum-over-rude-flier-115875-22479498/. Retrieved 2010-08-14. "As the plane touched down, Slater went berserk and yelled through the tannoy at her: "To the motherf***** who just told me to f*** off, f*** you. I've been in this business 20 years. And that's it, I'm done."" 
  4. Max Read, Did JetBlue Flight Attendant Steven Slater Start the Fight That Led to His Exit? Gawker, 12 August 2010
  5. Barash, Stephanie (2010-08-10). "Enraged Jet Blue Flight Attendant Set Free On Bail". WPIX, Baltimore Sun. http://www.baltimoresun.com/travel/wpix-jet-blue-arraignment,0,6085953.story. Retrieved 2010-08-11. "Steven Slater, 38, was arraigned Tuesday morning before Queens Criminal Court Judge Mary O'Donoghue on charges of first-and second-degree reckless endangerment, second-and fourth-degree criminal mischief and third-degree criminal trespass. Slater, of Belle Harbor, Queens apparently lost his cool after getting into a heated argument with a passenger. He slide down the emergency chute and ran to his parked car. Police later tracked him down at his Queens home where he was apparently engaging in sex." 
  6. Irate steward becomes folk hero, Al Jazeera, 12 August 2010
  7. Williams, Mary Elizabeth (10 August 2010). "Steve Slater: Working-class angst goes viral". Salon.com. http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2010/08/10/steven_slater_viral_star/index.html. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Tim Minton et al., Fed-Up Flight Attendant Out of Jail, Says He's Appreciative, NBC New York, 11 August 2010
  9. AFP (2010-08-11). "Angry JetBlue flight attendant has day in court". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  10. "Fed-Up Flight Attendant Makes Sliding Exit", New York Times, 9 August 2010.
  11. "Flight Attendant Grabs Two Beers, Slides Down the Emergency Chute", Wall Street Journal, 9 August 2010.
  12. Air steward arrested over emergency chute row, BBC, 9 August 2010.
  13. Air steward storms off plane on emergency slide, The Daily Telegraph, 9 August 2010.
  14. "Steven Slater Bail Set at $2,500", New York Daily News, 10 August 2010.
  15. El, Tamer. "Passengers Say Steve Slater, JetBlue Flight Attendant, Started the Fray - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704216804575423932483801118.html. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  16. Paddock, Barry (2010-08-13). "Some passengers dispute JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater's claim that he was provoked". New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/13/2010-08-13_out_to_launch.html. Retrieved 2010-08-13. "Port Authority cops interviewed about 40 people on the Pittsburgh-to-New York flight and haven't found anyone who backs up Slater's story." 
  17. Minton, Tim (2010-08-13). "WATCH: Steven Slater's Slide Down the Emergency Chute". WNBC-TV. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/Security-Camera-Captures-Steven-Slaters-Slide-Down-the-Emergency-Chute-100650754.html. Retrieved 2010-08-13. "As time goes on, Slater's story seems shakier and shakier. One senior investigator told NBC New York that more than 90 percent of the passengers on the JetBlue plane have been questioned by security officials and no one can corroborate the flight attendant's claims about what prompted him the exit the plane." 
  18. El-Ghobashy, Tamer; Gardiner, Sean (12 August 2010). "Passenger: Attendant Started Fray". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704216804575423932483801118.html. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  19. "Steven Slater, JetBlue Flight Attendant, Possibly Drinking Before Flight - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. http://abcnews.go.com/US/steven-slater-jetblue-flight-attendant-wife-blame/story?id=11382099. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  20. "Passenger says jetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater was not injured at start of flight". Nydailynews.com. http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/14/2010-08-14_bloody_jetblue_evidence_witness_says_slater_was_fine_at_start.html. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  21. "Steven Slater's Story Continuing to Unravel?". CBS News. 2010-08-13. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/08/13/earlyshow/main6769324.shtml. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  22. Inbar, Michael (12 August 2010). "Flight attendant’s ex: ‘I do not believe he was rude’". MSNBC. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/38672242/ns/today-todaytravel/. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  23. "Attendant's anger takes flight". San Francisco Chronicle. 11 August 2010. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/08/11/ED9O1ESF05.DTL. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 


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