New folk hero flight attendant Steven Slater emerged from a New York City jail yesterday grateful for the outpouring of public support, while his proud cancer-battling mom said her boy "deserved" a meltdown. "Something about this resonated with people," Slater said as he left jail a day after his freakout on a JetBlue airline when a rude passenger cursed at him. "The outpouring of support is very appreciated. I'm overwhelmed, very thankful." As he left Hunts Point jail after posting a $2500 bail, employees shouted: "You're a hero" and "You're a celebrity."
His mom, Diane Slater, meanwhile, defended her off-the-rail boy. "I can understand why he snapped. I would have snapped, too," she told the New York Daily News. "I think he just had a very small meltdown, and I think he deserved to be able to have that meltdown." Slater has pleaded not guilty to criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing charges filed after he reportedly swore at the nasty flyer over the plane's PA system, then deployed the plane emergency chute to make a speedy getaway. "Free Steven Slater" Facebook fans are raising money for his defense.
(Read more Steven Slater stories.)