Flight attendant starts happy hour early after argument with passenger

NEW YORK (NEWSCHANNEL) - A flight attendant ran out of patience on a plane that had just landed at New York's JFK airport Monday afternoon, so he allegedly cursed a blue streak over the P.A. system, grabbed some beers, pulled the emergency chute, slid down and ran from the plane.

JetBlue employee Steven Slater was due in court Tuesday.

He was working on Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh to Kennedy Airport, which landed around noon when he got into a verbal altercation with a passenger.

Witnesses say the argument began when one of the 100 passengers on the flight got up early to get her luggage from an overhead compartment.

Slater told the passenger to sit back down, but, as he approached, the woman continued to pull her belongings down and struck him in the head with her bag.

Slater asked for an apology but the woman cursed him out according to law enforcement sources who are still sorting out the specifics.

Slater then got on the flight's announcement system and allegedly cursed out everyone on the plane, especially the person who mouthed off to him.

According to police sources he threw his luggage down first and said something to the effect of "there goes 28 years," before he took the plunge

After getting down the slide, Slater took off into the terminal.

Slater was later arrested at his home in Queens by Port Authority officials.

He is being charged with 2nd-and 4th-degree criminal mischief, 1st- and 2nd-degree reckless endangerment and criminal trespass in the 3rd degree, according to a spokeswoman for Queens DA Richard Brown.

Slater faces up to 7 years in prison if convicted.

No one was injured in the incident.

Slater has also received an outpouring of support from working people around the world who say flight attendants endure hard working conditions and at times, unruly passengers.

A passenger who later saw him on an airport train tells NBC Slater was smiling and seemed happy about what he'd done.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Port Authority police are investigating the incident. JetBlue says its customers and crew members were never at risk.

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