Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Former "Freaked Out" jetBlue F/A pleads guilty

A former JetBlue flight attendant who made a profanity-filled exit via an airliner's emergency chute pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal mischief on Tuesday.

Steven Slater, 38, was ordered to undergo a year-long mental health program and receive alcohol and substance abuse counseling, the Queens District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

A prison sentence of one to three years is to be withdrawn if Slater complies.

Slater became an overnight celebrity after the incident, which began with a dispute with a passenger over overhead luggage. It ended with Slater quitting his job over the loudspeaker system and exiting the aircraft at New York's JFK airport with a couple of beers.

Slater was also ordered to reimburse JetBlue USD$10,000 to cover the costs of repairing the emergency chute he used in August following a stressful flight and a confrontation with at least one of the passengers.

"The defendant finally has recognized the seriousness of his actions and is willing to accept responsibility... Today's disposition... fairly balances the seriousness of the charges against the need for the defendant's rehabilitation," District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.


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