NEW YORK (
flight attendant Steve Slater
on Monday when he slid down the plane's emergency exit slide when an uncooperative passenger would not return to his seat.
After cursing out the passenger on the just-landed flight from Pittsburgh to Kennedy International Airport in New York, Slater grabbed a beer from the plane's beverage cart and deployed the aircraft's emergency exit chute as the plane was taxiing to the gate.
JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater in a screen grab from MySpace
The argument leading up to his dramatic exit started when a passenger got out of his seat to retrieve a bag from an overhead compartment as the aircraft taxied on the tarmac at JFK. Slater asked him to sit down and when he would not, the argument erupted. When Slater reached the passenger's seat, he was hit in the head with the luggage from the compartment.
JetBlue Attendant Flies Off the Handle
He demanded an apology from the passenger who refused. Slater lost his cool and started cursing at the passenger. Then he got on the PA system and continued to direct obscenities at the passenger and the entire plane.
Fed up, he grabbed a beer from the galley cart, pulled the lever to activate the emergency exit and slid down the inflatable slide. He ran from the tarmac to the employee parking lot where got in his car and drove to his home in Belle Harbor, Queens, where he was arrested soon thereafter.
Slater, 38, is being charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. He remains in custody after he refused to post the $2,500 bail set by a judge at his arraignment this morning.
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-- Reported by Theresa McCabe in Boston.
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