Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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JetBlue Flight Attendant Thanks Airline, Passengers

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The flight attendant who suddenly became famous for the dramatic way he walked off the job says he wants to return to work.

At a press conference in front of his Belle Harbor home Thursday, Steven Slater and his attorney expressed gratitude for the support he's received since his arrest, after leaving the JetBlue flight though an emergency exit Monday.

"Thank you all so much, it's been amazing the support and the love from out there. Everything that's been brought to me and given to me by the community and my friends and the industry at large. It's been absolutely wonderful," Slater said.

A JetBlue spokesperson says he has been released from duty pending the investigation.

His attorney says Slater, 38, loves the airline industry and that nearly all the passengers he's encountered are courteous and pleasant.

He even offered up thanks to both the police department and Port Authority.

Slater says his actions on all the flights were motivated by concern for the public's safety.

"Sometimes in the providing of safety one can be annoyed. Passengers can be inconvenienced, but it's all for their own safety and security," said Slater's attorney Howard Turman.

Investigators say it all began Monday when the JetBlue flight from Pittsburgh touched down at JFK Airport. Slater reportedly tried to stop a woman who reached for her luggage in the overhead bin before the plane came to a complete stop.

After being cut in the head helping a passenger with a bag in the overhead, Slater reportedly cursed out passengers over the plane's public address system, grabbed a beer, then jumped out the emergency exit and down an inflatable slide.

There have been reports from other passengers on the plane that Slater snapped at other people and behaved aggressively before the conflict with the woman that provoked his dramatic exit.

His attorney did not address those accounts, but says there has been false information reported about the incident.

If convicted, Slater faces up to seven years in jail.

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