The JetBlue flight attendant who made the phrase "deploy the slide" popular after he quit his job by grabbing two beers and exiting his airplane on the JFK tarmac has pleaded guilty in court Tuesday to avoid jail time.
Under the terms of the plea bargain, Steven Slater, 38, agreed to undergo counseling and substance-abuse treatment for at least a year and pay JetBlue $10,000 in restitution.
Slater was heralded a folk hero for fed-up workers everywhere for his actions on an August 9 flight from Pittsburgh when he swore at a passenger he said treated him badly, grabbed two beers and slid down to the tarmac, ending his employment with JetBlue. But Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said investigators believe Slater was suffering mental problems related to stress and alcohol.
Slater pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and attempted criminal mischief. At the hearing Tuesday, Slater calmly explained his behavior: "At the end of the day, I'm a grown-up and I must take responsibility for my actions."
Slater was first charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing, facing up to seven years in prison, but under the terms of his plea bargain he could still receive jail time if he fails to complete counseling and treatment.