Steven Slater's daring departure from a JetBlue Airways (JBLU) aircraft last month made him the darling of disgruntled airline employees everywhere. But the former flight attendant is showing less braggadocio these days, having agreed to a mental evaluation as he attempts to avoid jail time.

News of the plea deal came after a brief courtroom hearing Tuesday in the New York City borough of Queens, the Associated Press reported. Attorneys for both parties said a deal was being discussed that would allow Slater to perform community service in lieu of jail time should he agree to the exam.

In agreeing to the mental evaluation, Slater is showing he is taking the felony charges against him more seriously, said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. Charges against Slater include criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing after the Aug. 9 incident, which took place at Kennedy International Airport.

Slater's actions were prompted by a disagreement with an unruly passenger. After cursing out the passenger via the plane's public address system, Slater activated the emergency evacuation slide, grabbed a beer and slid down to the tarmac, before making his way home. JetBlue was silent immediately following the incident but did suspend Slater.

In the days following the incident, Slater became a cause célèbre for overworked and under-appreciated workers everywhere. Postings on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter hailed his actions.

Though his actions were largely viewed by the public as celebratory, Brown said activating the emergency slide cost JetBlue about $25,000 in repairs and required the plane to be taken out of service, causing flight delays. "It's no laughing matter," said Brown, in speaking to reporters after Tuesday's hearing.

In the days after the incident, Slater said he didn't activate the slide without first ensuring there was no one on the ground who might be injured by the rapidly deploying device. Slater also said he hoped to return to flying, but the company said last week that Slater no longer worked for the New York City-based airline.

Slater later clarified, saying he had quit and wasn't fired. A 20-year veteran of the airline industry, Slater worked for JetBlue for three years.

Slater's actions were believed to be driven in part by stress in his personal life, which include caring for his dying mother and his own health problems associated with HIV infection, said his attorney, Daniel J. Horowitz.

Horowitz said he hoped prosecutors would take into account Slater's "long-standing and well-regarded reputation in the industry."

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

What are Penny Stocks

The lucrative and dangerous world of penny stocks.

View Course »

Investing in Emerging Markets

Learn to invest in a globalized world.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

And the moral of the story boys and girls is "Don't quit your day job unless you have another one already lined up." Steve Slater can't get another job with the history and baggage he'll be carrying. Would you fly with him?

September 08 2010 at 4:11 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
paul sharier

If you or I had done 1/2 of what this butt head did we would face charges with no option of cumminty service. If your kids or parents where there, do you think they would have thought light of this? Air line attendents are getting away with to much. If you don't want the job, get out.( at 10,000 feet ). If I had been on that air line or any one else and felt he was going to do something to me our my family. and I kick his ass. What do you think would happen? would it be funny then?

September 08 2010 at 2:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

This sucks..............In the first place slater doesn't work for jetblue anymore! Now he is being forced to go on some wild goose chase with jetblue lawyers in tow to see if he is sane or insane...for what purpose....fudge who knows...go figure? Jetblue uses and abuses their employees now they want to look like perfect little airplane company helping us wittle people out by using slater as the official scape goat instead of fixing the many problems that this airline has. What jetblue should have had in the first F-in place was a bonifide air marshal on board to keep the unruely pasengers in check as if the flight attendants are highly trained in karate to keep some noisy disrespectfull loud mouthed drunk passengers at bay while we fly the friendly skies. Shoot crack open a beer for me slater all this shufflin around of legal preceedings over this one mishap is beginning to annoy me and the american public. It should have been all done and over with by now as far as the news aspect of it. Why continue to punish the guy over and over again? Get real jetblue maybe ..just maybe airline fliers will decide to think for themselves and go elsewhere to fly untill things are fixed at your airline............. dohhhhhhhhhhhh

September 08 2010 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rick's comment

Hey Rick....I seriously doubt JetBlue has anything to do with this creep and his legal problems. I would suspect the lawyers referred to are his and the D.A. You are correct though..lots of people ARE sick of this guy as well as others who act like him.Some people confuse tolerance with acceptance. As far as I am concerned,he is a nut case.His reasons/excuses are not anyone elses problem.We ALL have problems. He had no way to make sure he could safely deploy that slide,so he needs to be in jail.

September 08 2010 at 4:10 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

and dont give him a tv show.

September 07 2010 at 10:50 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
linkin park rock

Well let me remind you harold this guy was slapped by the woman who caused this mess. She was the customer and in this case an unruly customer who treated him like crap you know sometimes the customer is not right so in my opinion I think he did the right thing by telling that hag and the airline to go screw themselves!!

September 07 2010 at 10:49 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

put in in jail or the NUT house......

September 07 2010 at 10:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

He should go to trial and upon acquittal (99% certain) sue JetBlue for intentional infliction of mental and emotional distress.

September 07 2010 at 10:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

This guy is as big an idiot as the people that think he is a hero.

September 07 2010 at 9:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He was probably the most normal person on the plane.

September 07 2010 at 8:30 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

This is funny. What a way to say 'take this job & shove it!'

September 07 2010 at 7:16 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply