US air steward in shock plane exit after passenger row
- 10 August 2010
- From the section US & Canada
A US flight attendant has been bailed after he had a row with a passenger on a plane and allegedly fled using the emergency exit slide.
Steven Slater, 39, reportedly became furious with a passenger as the plane arrived at JFK International Airport after a row on take-off.
He was arrested and charged with criminal mischief, trespassing and reckless endangerment.
The JetBlue plane was travelling from Pittsburgh to New York on Monday.
Mr Slater's lawyer, Howard Turman, told journalists that his client had been drawn into a fight between two female passengers over space in the overhead bins as the flight was awaiting take-off in Pittsburgh.
Somehow, Mr Slater was hit in the head, Mr Turman said.
After the flight landed in New York, the woman attempted to retrieve her bag before the plane came to a complete stop, the lawyer said, and swore at Mr Slater.
Mr Slater then used the loudspeaker to tell the passenger off, before allegedly grabbing some beer from the kitchen and activating the slide.
After making his dramatic exit, he then walked to his car and drove away.
He was arrested at his home in Queens shortly afterwards. A New York City judge set his bail at $2,500 (£1,590), AP reported, rejecting a defence lawyer's request that he be freed without bail.
The airline said it was investigating the incident.
"At no time was the security or safety of our customers or crew members at risk," it said in a statement.
Some Facebook users have created a page in support of Mr Slater for walking off the job.