A former Jet Blue flight attendant who gained international fame after a dramatic exit from an aircraft — and his job — has gone missing in Mexico.
According to the New York Post, Steven Slater had recently moved to Tijuana from the San Diego area, and had said in an August 4 Facebook post that he was going to visit the Monumental Arch. Friends reported him missing when they were unable to reach him after that planned visit.
Slater became well-known in 2010 following an altercation with a Jet Blue passenger who had insisted on opening the overhead bin before the plane landed, and subsequently hit slater in the head with a piece of luggage. Once the plane had landed, Slater addressed the plane’s passengers via the PA system, appearing to announce he was quitting his job.
“To the f88king a**hole that told me to f**k off, it’s been a good 28 years!” Slater reportedly said. He then activated the plane’s emergency chute and slid onto the tarmac — after grabbing a can of beer.
Slater was reportedly charged with felony reckless endangerment, but avoided jail with a plea deal that required him to participate in substance abuse treatment and counseling, and reimburse the airline $10,000 for the emergency chute.
Friends told the New York Post that Slater worked at Sea World in San Diego and had moved just about a week ago to Tijuana, which is just over the U.S.-Mexico border, to save money.
“He seemed like he felt pretty safe in the neighborhood where he lived,” Jim Fossett told the newspaper. “I don’t know if he met up with the wrong person or he got mugged or something.”
“Hopefully we’ll find him intact, but right now we’re all kind of worried,” the friend said.
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[Feature image: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer]