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Former JetBlue Flight Attendant Escapes Jail Time

By: CBS
By: CBS

You may remember the former Jet Blue flight attendant who had a meltdown and escaped down the plane's emergency chute. Well, he's escaped jail time for now by striking a plea deal.

Former flight attendant Steven Slater stopped short of apologizing, but finally admitted what he did on a JetBlue plane last summer was wrong .

"At the end of the day, I am a grown adult and must accept responsibility for my actions,” he said.

Slater pleaded guilty to charges of attempted criminal mischief for his August 9th meltdown. He acknowledged releasing the emergency chute after the flight from Pittsburgh landed at New York's JFK. Slater then cursed over the loudspeaker and slid down the emergency chute with a beer in his hand.

Slater was slapped with a $10,000 fine and ordered to undergo counseling and substance abuse treatment. If he completes the program successfully, he’ll get a year’s probation. If not, he could go to jail.

Slater's actions struck a chord with disgruntled workers everywhere. He was cheered on the internet with messages on his facebook page like "Way to go" and" you are my new hero.” For Halloween, stores are even selling a new costume: the “angry steward.”

But the district attorney said the incident was no joke.

“It could have resulted in serious injury, even death to the passengers or the workers on the tarmac down below,” Richard Brown said.

And it was costly to JetBlue. The airline had to take its plane out of service and spent $25,000 fixing the slide. JetBlue, which no longer employs Slater, had no comment on the outcome.

If slater completes his sentence to the judge's satisfaction, the felony charges will be dropped and only the misdemeanor will remain on his record.


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