Steven Slater, 38, was arraigned Tuesday morning before Queens Criminal Court Judge Mary O'Donoghue on charges of first-and second-degree reckless endangerment, second-and fourth-degree criminal mischief and third-degree criminal trespass.
Slater, of Belle Harbor, Queens apparently lost his cool after getting into a heated argument with a passenger. He slide down the emergency chute and ran to his parked car. Police later tracked him down at his Queens home where he was apparently engaging in sex.
District Attorney Brown weighed in on the incident and made clear Slater's actions could have put people's lives in jeopardy.
"The emergency chute deploys at 3,000 pounds per square inch within seconds and could easily injure or kill ground crews or others on the tarmac who are unaware the chute has been activated," explained Brown. "This would have been a far different arraignment if someone had been standing under the emergency chute when it deployed."
However, Defense attorney Howard Turman asked a judge to release him without bail. As a result, the judge set bail at $2,500. According to reports, Slater smiled as he was escorted into the courtroom.
By late morning, more than 13,000 people had "liked" a Facebook page set up in his honor, and commenters were lauding the flight attendant's stand and calling for the arrest of the disobedient passenger.
Jet Blue has claimed Slater's actions caused damage to the emergency escape slide and caused a dangerous condition to the ground crew working below the plane. The emergency escape reportedly deploys at three thousand pounds of pressure per square inch and causes a risk of physical injury or death if it strikes people. In addition, the plane company claims the cost to replace the emergency slide is more than $25,000.
According to the charges, Slater admitted to Port Authority Police Officers that he intentionally activated the emergency slide. He was arrested by officers at the Port Authority Police department.
(PORTIONS OF THIS ARTICLE SUPPLEMENTED BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)