JetBlue Flight Attendant to Undergo Mental Evaluation to Avoid Jail Time

The flight attendant who flamboyantly quit his job at JetBlue, making him a folk hero for millions of disgruntled employees, will undergo a psychiatric evaluation as part of a possible plea deal to avoid serving jail time.

Steven Slater, who on August 9 slid down the plane's emergency chute with two beers in hand, appeared briefly in a Queens courtroom Tuesday. Slater's attorney, Daniel Horwitz, says he's trying to work out a deal with the prosecution.

"We look forward to continuing discussions with the district attorney to see if we can resolve this matter amicably and favorably for Mr. Slater. He's looking to move on with his life, which is why he resigned from JetBlue last week," Horwitz says.

Slater faces charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing after his meltdown last month. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says Slater appears to be taking the incident more seriously and he says the public should too. "Deploying an emergency chute from a plane filled with passengers is no laughing matter," Brown says.

He says the emergency slide cost $25,000 to repair, and the plane was pulled out of service, causing passenger delays.

Prosecutors and Horwitz say Slater may qualify for an alternative sentencing program that would require community service instead of jail time.