QUEENS, N.Y. (WPIX)—The JetBlue flight attendant who captured the country's imagination for his unorthodox exit from his job has been fired, officially, according to a spokesperson for the airline.
Jenny Dervin says Steven Slater, 38, was dismissed sometime last week.
However, Slater's attorney, Daniel J. Horwitz, claims his client resigned and was not fired. Neither side has provided specifics.
Slater became an unlikely folk hero for all disgruntled workers Aug. 9, when he went off on a woman, who he said was being a pain. Then, he did his own, unique version of "take this job and *&^)^%!" by grabbing a beer from the beverage cart and exiting the aircraft via an emergency chute at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, Queens.
People on the Pittsburgh to New York flight backed Slater, who they say blew up when the carry-on baggage of the aforementioned women struck him on the head. Online Slater fans started a Facebook page, that gained more than 210,000 fans, and more than 900 people have joined the "Steven Slater Legal Defense Fund" Group.
Police found him hours later at his Belle Harbor home, also in Queens, and arrested him. They charged him with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing. Slater was released on $2,500 bail and suspended pending the investigation.
JetBlue said in a statement to employees that no one -- including the press -- seems to understand that what Slater did was quite dangerous since emergency slides are deployed with a potentially deadly amount of force.