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Gig Harbor graduate sets up legal defense fund for much-publicized flight attendant

Post by Cole Cosgrove on Aug. 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm with 8 Comments »
August 13, 2010 1:56 pm

A 2005 graduate of Gig Harbor High School has set up the “Steven Slater Legal Defense Fund” for a famous JetBlue flight attendant.

Gary Baumgardner, 23, who works as an airline pilot on the East Coast, said Thursday that the fund had surpassed $3,000 since he started the account Tuesday morning. He said all the money raised will go to Slater. After a confrontation with a passenger, Slater is accused of cursing out the passenger on the plane’s public-address system, grabbing some beer from the galley and exiting on an inflatable emergency slide, according to The Associated Press.

“We really just kind of felt for him,” Baumgardner said by phone Thursday night. “We don’t condone how he quit, but we’re there to support him and we understand his frustration, why somebody would react like that. That’s why we set it up for him. We’re all crew members, we’re all a family, and we help each other.”

Baumgardner was on “The Willis Report” on Fox Business News to talk about the defense fund. He will be on the program again at 2 this afternoon to debate a critic.

Baumgardner set up a Facebook group that had 881 members as of Friday afternoon. Another 762 Facebook users “like” a similar fan page.

On Pay Pal, money can be sent to stevenslaterfund@gmail.com. Or send an e-mail on how to contribute.

Baumgardner said he hasn’t done anything quite like this before.

“I like to do volunteer work, but this is just kind of helping out one of our own,” Baumgardner said.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. why support bad behavior?

  2. Next time I shout profanities at my company’s customers, steal beer and damage my company’s property, I’ll know just who to call!

  3. nonstopjoe says:

    Find a jury which would convict will be impossible.

  4. agiatriada says:

    I agree with both comments, the guy should have apologized to the nice passenger, the rest of the crew especially the captain, offered his voluntary resignation (forfeited his paid vacation and sick leave as well) and reimbursed JetBlue for the cost of resetting the slide and the two beers.
    He certainly didn’t do enough. He should have hauled the idiot’s rear end to the captain, demanded the passenger be arrested upon arrival (broke the Airline’s rules / endangered herself AND other passengers, physically hurt him – voluntary or otherwise makes no difference SINCE SHE WENT AGAINST COMPANY RULES IN THE PROCESS, and grabbed a whole 6 pack instead of 2 cans. On a more serious note, someone calls me that word when I am doing my job while enforcing the rules of the folks who sign my paycheck, getting on the intercome for a well deserving answer would be the LEAST I would have done.
    These airline folks put up with so much, it’s ridiculous. I myself got a little upset once for not having a cup of water soon enough. I walked to the back and asked for it, not too nicely I must admit. The stewardess handed me a full, 1 liter bottle w/ 2 cups. I thanked her and kept thanking her for the duration of the flight.
    If I were Steven, what I would NOT do is ask JetBlue for my job back. A Company not backing their people after looking at all the facts is not worth working for.

  5. tortoise says:

    23 and already an airline pilot. What airline?
    Air travel is such a pleasant experience. We need more like Slater.

  6. telepaper says:

    I used to be in Customer Service and I say there are many times when the customer is not always right. Most people are ready to listen and will treat you fair, but the abusive ones are out there. They think it is a victory if they get their way and don’t give a rip on how much of a jerk they appear to be to others.

  7. smolderc says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I don’t want to be in the air when the flight attendant has a melt down. Thankfully they was on the ground or who knows what might have happened. It could have been really bad.

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