Passenger: Slater Gave Impression He Was Drinking

Many Now Pointing Out JetBlue Attendant's Odd Behavior

BELLE HARBOR, N.Y. (CBS 2) — On Thursday afternoon flight attendant Steven Slater came out of his house and thanked his supporters.

But, as CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reports, where he has told “one” story, passengers are saying there was a whole other side of him that’s quite different from the folk hero and victim he’s been made out to be.

After some brief words from his attorney, Slater stepped up to the microphones and said: “Thank you all so much. It’s been amazing, the support, the love and everything that’s been brought to me and given to me by the community and my friends and the industry at large. It has been absolutely wonderful.”

Many, if not most, of the passengers who are now being interviewed by Port Authority detectives about what happened on Monday on that bizarre JetBlue flight with Slater seem to be giving a very different version of his behavior during the flight, than the picture most people have of him — who were not there.

Howard Deneroff, for example, is a producer for CBS Radio’s Westwood One. Slater, he said, got pretty aggressive about Deneroff not having his seat in the upright position.

“He did hit the back of my seat and said, ‘Pull your seat up. It can’t be reclined.’ It was not reclining and I indicating it to him and then he says, ‘Pull your seat up.’ I said I didn’t recline the seat and he leaned over, hit the button to try to pull it up himself. He hit the back of the seat, but it didn’t move,” Deneroff said.

It didn’t move because it was already up, Deneroff said. Then there’s passenger Kati Doebler. She said that Slater’s story about getting the cut on his head when a passenger dropped a piece of luggage on him from the overhead compartment at the end of the flight — the incident that triggered the cursing on the PA system, and the escape on the chute — may not be true.

In fact, Slater’s legal aide attorney, Howard Turman, told the media on Thursday Slater actually suffered the injury in Pittsburgh, before Flight 1052 even took off.

“They were shoving the bags around attempting to get it in. Steven came over to assist and either the bag or the overhang hit him on the head,” Turman said.

Doebler said passengers saw the bleeding cut as soon as they boarded, and she said Slater never pu on a bandage. And, she said, there was that drink he always seemed to be carrying.

“One of the times he passed by me he was carrying what could either have been a drink for himself, and that was a little bit of the impression I got, as he was kind of waving it about like it was his own cocktail,” Doebler said.

Investigators are looking into claims by several passengers that Slater seemed to be irritable and unsteady, as if drinking, even throwing the mask and life jacket to the ground, some said, during the demonstration.

Detectives are continuing to hear a lot about Slater’s behavior during the flight, the types of things that could continue to erode his stories, like the one CBS 2’s Guzman heard from passenger Lauren Wood.

“He came up and he had a bunch of sodas in his hand and he looked at me and was like, ‘Would you like a soda?’ And I was like, ‘Can I have a water?’ And he just glares at me and walks away. And I was kind of like oh my gosh I really upset this guy,” Wood said.

Wood also said the notion that Slater is some kind of saint is ridiculous.

“It makes me so mad, because he’s not a hero. He was rude,” Wood said.

Slater said he wants to get back to work in the airline industry. His mother, after all, was a flight attendant and his father was a pilot, but with the dramatic exit he made Monday — that’s going to be tough.

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  • Reggie Hammond

    You sympathize with him because perhaps you identify with his gay lifestyle, the same way blacks sympathize with Obama to the tune of 95% no matter what he does simply because he is black. I noticed Anderson Cooper was leaning towards giving this guy stewardess every break but when Anderson obviously opposes a guests POV he doesn’t give the same “fairness.” I think the dude should be given a chance to pilot for Jet Blue then if he does this again & kills everyone then we’ll know we were wrong.

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  • jrzygrlexit8A

    I’ve been asked for water two minutes before landing as I was running for my jumpseat, and then called the “B” word by the “B” princess who made a stink about it. Like I was supposed to land standing up — you have no idea what real animals some people turn into until you put them on an airplane, usually, after they’ve had a few drinks in the terminal.

  • A.J.

    Ex-Wife ?? Plus Boyfriend??
    This story keeps getting better.

  • David

    The guy is clearly at fault, was most likely drunk, and . . . most funny of all . . . probably sobered up and realized he has absolutely nothing to offer an employer. Now he wants his job back! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaah *deep breath* hahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • Bill

    Shut up Sean Plankey. Dealing with the public is never easy. There is nothing special about you, your job or your drama queen flight attendants.

  • Sean Plankey

    I work in the regional airline industry as a pilot and can tell everyone it is absolute pressure cooker. The workdays are 13-15 hours a day for 4 days in a row, the layovers are 9-11 hours at a Red Roof or Sleep Inn and endless delays put almost everyone on edge.

    The last thing we need is abusive, rude or obnoxious people on our planes. I instruct my flight attendants: if they have a problem with a passenger to immediately call me so I can either handle the problem internally on the plane or call airport police.

  • Snohomishpete

    Psycho drama queen, that’s what he is. He should be fired, prosecuted and pay full restitution to the airline, airport security and the passengers whose time he so arrogantly and selfishly wasted!

  • elph

    If true that he was drinnk and it apears so he should be fired and should serve time. He is a dangerous idiot.

  • seshan Mani

    Slater has proved to be a fradu and he shoudl be proseucted for his rude and unprofessional behaviour. May be that fact taht he was drunk must have contributed to his roguish beahviour. In any case he is unfit to be dealing with people at all

  • Obvious

    The flight attendant is clearly carrying significant fault in this. He is no hero. His attitude will return to haunt him. It’s too bad.

  • Jamal

    I know people aren’t gonna like this, and i’ll admit its stereotypical but I’m asking it as a purely social question (please understand I’m only inquisitive and not a biggot). Does it seem like homosexuals, who have had to deal with a lot of hardships that heterosexuals do not have to, have a sense of entitlement about themselves? more so than other people? They feel they deserve more in life based on their struggle?

  • beekums

    No doubt he will be working my next United Airlines flight.

  • Stephan

    He should not be allowed to keep his job. Seriously there needs to be consequence for doing a bad job. He should be fired, nobody should be glorifying this man. If anyone else did this at their job they would leave the premises in handcuffs. I’ve had lots of bad days at work, but i get over it. I hope he gets fined by Jetblue for using the slide and goes to prison. Everyone is glorifying him because he had “courage” to do it. I don’t care if he’s gay or straight, he’s an idiot, he put people in danger, and he should be punished.

  • Pilot.Dave

    I keep asking, where is the passenger who struck him with the door or bag ??? Seems like this is critical.

    There are good and bad people in all jobs and good and bad days, although to different degrees. If you worked the schedule of an attendant for a month, most would quit !!!

  • simplemainer

    I think it’s fair to say that the Port Authority Cops have ACTED STUPIDLY

  • Rick

    Wake up people the bankers own all politicians democrap & republicrap. The only way to fix this country is to fix the system. Voting in more of the same will change nothing. Following the constitution & getting rid of the private owned federal reserve is the only answer.

  • Rite Wng

    It’s not Bushes fault. It is the Democrat Congress in power for the last three years that has caused this collapse of our economy. How they continue to get a pass and the blame placed on a lame duck President is beyond me. Spread the truth!

  • jplegend

    does anyone doubt that this guy set this all up? He was looking for (and received) the instant notoriety that today’s pathetic culture gives to anyone who is in the news, bad or good.

  • RJ

    Global warming caused it. It causes everything else.

  • Namehere

    JetBlue would be foolish to rehire this fellow. Very simply, Slater put the public safety measurably at risk and it’d be considerably irresponsible to allow him to work again in that capacity.

  • Patti N.

    If the airlines quit trying to run the flights with as few (or fewer) flight attendants possible, incidents like this would lessen, and have much smaller impact.

  • buster

    sp pathetic that ppl are actually writing letteres to USA Today to say this guy is their HERO> how pathetic can anyone be to have this loser, yes loser, as their personal hero.

    then again, why am I reading USA Today??

  • bob

    This is what happens when the lame stream media makes hero’s out of people before the real facts are in.

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  • Kathy

    I’m with Beads and Jimmy, it’s most definitely Bush’s

  • RJ

    It is Nixon’s fault, and Reagan, Bush 1 and Bush 2. It is the fault of all heterosexual white males and especially Dick Cheney. The overhead luggage compartments are biased towards heterosexuals and oil magnates

  • Stan

    He sounded like a drama queen to me from the get-go.

  • Caral

    I didn’t read all the comments, but did anyone question the obvious?? All said that he had a “gash” on his forehead/head and he was acting strangely…. could he have possibly had a concussion. The frontal lobe could have suffered a concussion and caused him to act strangely and aggressively, that is the classic sign of someone who has incurred some type of brain injury or concussion…. aggression/anger/hitting out/ confusion. Was he injured at the start of the flight and his behavior increasingly got more aggressive? Hellooooooooo…… He SHOULD have been immediately taken to a hospital, and I HOPE he has been rendered medical attention!!!

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  • Jasper2

    What’s the big deal? An unstable individual, who probably should not be a flight attendant, had a hissy fit (meltdown?) and behaved boorishly. Nothing to see here, keep moving…

    He will be fired if he hasn’t already been, which is the appropriate reward for indefensible behavior.

    Slater has had his 15 minutes of fame, and he will pay for it.

    End of story.

  • Professor

    It’s NOT Bush’s fault. It’s Haliburton’s – No, it’s Cheney’s – No Haliburton’s – NO NO NO I mean Cheney and Haliburton – No I mean Bush-Cheney-Haliburton. Wait – I mean the “MIlitary-Industrial complex. If I am going to be a brain-dead, leftover hippy from the 60s – Why not blame it on Nixon too?

  • Loner

    That passenger Lauren Wood talks like an uneducated idiot! i.e., “…and I’m like, Can I have a glass of water? and he’s like “NO” and I”m like Gee I really made that guy mad…” English is a very rich language, Lauren. Learn It !!! Stop talking like some moronic middle-schooler, for God’s sake!!! Repeat after me – “I SAID I wanted some water, and he SAID he only had soda” “Said” is a very useful word! “Sad” is also a very useful word to describe people like you who try to sound modern and hip but who come off as inarticulate! Grow up!

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    I’m pretty convinced that Slater had a few “Brews” on and before that flight….There are just too many different versions of events from different passengers, to accept his alone….Anyway he is now toast as a “Flying Spoon” and may do some jail time as well!!! He has a big ‘EGO’ as well!!

  • MAC59

    If Slater has no history of erratic behavior and gave the impression he’d been drinking, a concussion could certainly explain it.

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  • Ravan

    Dean Martin should have run for office in between martinis – perhaps the economy would not be as hee haw as it is now. Vote Slater ! After all, Slater has more public experience than that actor who ruined everything

  • Walter

    Given the history of the airline industry, I doubted the original story about this guy. Now the truth is coming out.

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  • notsurprised

    i work for Delta. This guy worked for delta before. A friend of mine knew him while he was at Delta. He got fired from Delta. For what? Drinking. At first I was thrilled to hear a story of a FA who stood up to an ugly customer – but now it seems the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. He was probably inebriated that day and that’s why he made such horrible decisions.

  • larry

    This guy is wired wrong in so many ways.

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  • passenger22

    what if this Slater idiot lost if at 35,000 feet and opened the plane door then????
    we were worried about terrorists bringing down a plane, but now we have to think about the flight attendants doing something stupid. he’s an idiot, plain and simple and he’s no HERO!

  • Larry

    Passenger: Slater Gave Impression He Was Drinking

    The HEADLINE of this story gives the “impression” Slater was drinking alcohol. Could have been anything. Ask 10 people what happened and all 10 stories will be different. Some may have not seen anything and still feel compelled to comment.

  • Conservitus

    I agree with frequent flyer. This guy should be grounded permanantly. This was cleary a case of negligence and reckless endangerment of the paying passengers on that flight. Jetblue is responsible for this guy they hired and retained him.

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  • mgseamanjr

    Did the airline charge him the $50 for those five stolen beers? I’d like to know. I wonder if he grabbed a couple of mini-packs of peanuts to save $20.

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