INSIDE EDITION has discovered that fed-up flight attendant Steven Slater had a brush with the law prior to his impromptu emergency chute escape.
INSIDE EDITION obtained records showing Slater was arrested for DUI in Kentucky in 1997 while he was working for Delta Airlines. He pled guilty to the charge and paid a $457 fine.
Slater, who admitted on his MySpace page about battling alcoholism and substance abuse, may have fallen off the wagon on the day of his airplane freak out.
Authorities say when they came to arrest Slater, they found him drunk and in bed with his boyfriend at their home in Bel Harbor, Long Island. Slater's eyes were reportedly bloodshot and he also reeked of booze, according to one police source. When police asked if he had been drinking, Slater is said to have answered, "Yes, while waiting for you to show up."
"Was Steven drinking on the plane?" a reporter asked Slater's attorney, Howard Turman, at a press conference.
"No," said Turman.
When INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander spoke to Slater's ex-wife Cynthia about his troubles with substance abuse, she asked if Cynthia had ever known Slater to have a problem with alcohol or substances.
"No I really didn't, I had never experienced Steven with that issue," Cynthia said.
And believe it or not, the suspended flight-attendant-turned-folk-hero now wants his job back.
"JetBlue is a wonderful airline that he has loved working for and wishes to continue working for," his lawyer told reporters.
But JetBlue executives are saying, 'Not so fast.'
In an internal memo, JetBlue's COO calls Slater's deployment of the emergency chute "unacceptable" and "serious." He also writes, "Slides deploy extremely quickly, with enough force to kill a person. Slides can be as dangerous as a gun."
Meanwhile, more passengers are coming forward to talk about Slater's bizarre behavior throughout the flight.
Passenger Howard Deneroff told The Early Show, "I was sleeping the whole flight so I had never moved my seat but apparently he didn't think so, and so he smacked the back of my seat and said, 'Sir you need to move your seat up.' "
Like the rest of us, JetBlue executives are still trying to determine what exactly prompted Slater's airplane freak out. The JetBlue memo says, "There's much more to the story that we don't know. Was there an altercation on the flight that precipitated or motivated Mr. Slater's action? It's unclear."
During a press conference outside Slater's home, his lawyer again claimed that the self-proclaimed "Bag Nazi" got that gash on his head while trying to help two passengers jockeying for overhead luggage space.
Turman said, "Steven came over to assist and either a bag or the overhang hit him in the head."
But Port Authority cops say they interviewed at least 40 passengers and none back up Slater's story.
One officer tells The Wall Street Journal, "I think this is moving toward a working theory of, 'It never happened.' "