The JetBlue flight attendant was aboard a recently-landed plane in New York's Kennedy Airport when a woman got up prematurely to remove her baggage from the overhead bin. Slater approached the individual, only to be conked inside the had with the suitcase and told to "f-ck off."
Slater then opened the emergency hatch, grabbed his two carry-on bags - and two beers! - and jumped down the inflatable airplane slide to safety. At least temporarily.
According to the New York Daily News, Port Authority police were alerted for the incident and showed up at Slater's home in Queens, where they discovered him in bed with his boyfriend. A neighbor says Slater was smiling as the cops walked him away in handcuffs.
He'll be charged with 2nd-and 4th-degree criminal mischief; 1st- and 2nd-degree reckless endangerment and criminal trespass inside the 3rd degree; and faces up to seven years in jail.
Sources, and Slater's own MySpace page, confirm that he's battled substance abuse. His father also recently died and he's been taking care of his critically-ill mother. Both parents worked for the airline industry.
Let's all hope Steven Slater walks away from this altercation a free man. Soon after all, as Phil Catelinet, a passenger about the flightn said afterwards: "I wish we could all quit our jobs like that."