The Full Story: The Steven Slater saga started Aug. 9, when a prickly passenger aboard a Pittsburgh to New York flight ignored Slater's warnings not to take her bag out of the overhead compartment before the plane had come to a complete stop. The passenger failed to heed the flight attendant's warnings and then proceeded to knock him in the head with her luggage and curse at him. At least, that's Slater's story. Other passengers on the flight refused to corroborate this version. What's undisputed, however, is what happened next: An irate Slater fulfilled millions of wishful-thinking "take this job and shove it" fantasies and dramatically exited from the parked plane -- with two Blue Moon beers in hand. Slater's actions hit on some of the big themes of 2010. In a recession year when people were afraid of losing their jobs, and as airlines stepped up their fees, Slater spoke his mind and quit.
What's Happened Since? Slater's daring departure didn't just cost him his job. The former flight attendant was subsequently charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and criminal trespassing. The day after he jumped onto the tarmac, he was arrested at his New York home in Belle Harbor, Queens. At first, Slater pleaded not guilty, but he changed his tune in October. He worked out a plea deal that includes a year in a mental-health program and a $10,000 fine. More recently, however, the rogue flight attendant is trying to capitalize on his fame. In a commercial for Line2, a company that provides Wi-Fi access on airplanes, Slater raps, "My legal fees are paid by the dot-com biz." The Daily News reported earlier this month that Slater has been busy trying to lose weight, caring for his dying mother and undergoing counseling.
In His Own Words: In the days after he quit his job, Slater was unrepentant. But once the court proceedings were under way and he was looking at up to seven years of jail time, the "working class hero" had a different take on things. "At the end of the day, I am a grown adult and must accept responsibility for my actions," he said.
Video: Security video of Steven Slater deploying the inflatable escape slide (no sound, blurred logo); montage of Slater-oriented news clips
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