On 9th August, 2010 a passenger on a jetliner arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport with whom a JetBlue flight attendant got into a dispute and deployed an emergency exit slide so he could flee has been arrested. Since 1990, Mr. Slater has been a senior flight attendant. According to his Linkedln entry, he’s been working at JetBlue for almost three years since January 2008.
Flight attendant Steven Slater was arrested at his nearby home in the Belle Harbor section of Queens by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing following Monday’s incident. 39-year-old Steven Slater had a short argument with one of the passenger who leave his seat and fetch his belonging before the plane really stops. Slater asks the man to remain seated, just like any other flight attendant would do. The passenger ignored him.
Slater approached the man to prevent him from pulling down his luggage, but it ended up the luggage struck Slater in the head. Slater asks the man to say sorry. But, the passenger cursed him instead of giving an apology. Fed up, Slater got on the plane’s public address system and start cursing back. Slater, 39, remained in custody Monday night. His attorney’s name wasn’t immediately obtainable, and there was no home telephone number listed for him. A woman who answered a phone at a previous residence listed for Slater in Thousand Oaks, California, identified herself as his mother but said she wasn’t speaking to the press.
A “heated” exchange ensued, which culminated in Slater walking to the rear of the plane, where he grabbed the intercom. “To the passenger who called me a motherf***er, f*** you!” Slater yelled, passengers tell the New York Daily News. “I’ve been in the business 28 years. I’ve had it. That’s it.” He activated the emergency chute and slid away.
JetBlue Airways Corp. said in a statement that it was working with the Federal Aviation Administration and Port Authority police to investigate the matter. They said the safety of its customers and crew members was never at risk. Authorities said, “as the plane was landing, Slater got on the PA system to berate the passenger”. He then activated the slide, slid down and went to his car.
The Port Authority said, Slater was working on JetBlue Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh when he got into an argument with the passenger, who was pulling down baggage from an overhead bin. Slater got on the plane’s public address system and yelled: “To the passenger who called me a (expletive), (expletive) you. I’ve been in the business 28 years. I’ve had it. That’s it.” Sources said Slater then grabbed some beer from the plane, deployed the inflatable emergency slide, and took off in his car parked in an employee lot.