October 20, 2010 in Nation/World

Flight attendant avoids jail for fit

Colleen Long Associated Press
 
Seth Wenig photo

Slater
(Full-size photo)

NEW YORK – The fed-up flight attendant who waved goodbye to his career in a spectacular exit down an emergency chute made a soft landing in court Tuesday.

Steven Slater, 38, avoided jail under a plea bargain that requires him to undergo counseling and substance-abuse treatment for at least a year. He must also pay $10,000 in restitution to JetBlue.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Slater wasn’t just fed up with his job or angry at a passenger when he stormed off the plane. He said investigators believe Slater was drunk and suffering mental problems, though the prosecutor wouldn’t give specifics.

Slater spoke calmly as he pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and attempted criminal mischief. Afterward, a smiling, upbeat Slater said: “At the end of the day, I’m a grown-up and I must take responsibility for my actions.”

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