Steven Slater is likely somewhere in Mexico, but is he missing?
Widely known as the beer chugging JetBlu flight attendant who quit his job in 2010 by deploying the emergency exit chute and shouting “Fuck it, I quit,” as he slid to the pavement, Slater became something of a worker’s national hero.
Slater has since been in and out of Southern California recovery centers, including West Hollywood’s Breathe Life Healing Center and WestWind Recovery sober-living residences and has struggled openly on Facebook with relapse and employment struggles.
He recently relocated to the San Diego area and like an increasing number of people who live near the border, Slater, who had recently taken a job at Seaworld, decided it would be cheaper to live in Tijuana and commute to work.
That move unsettled his many friends in the sobriety community and his fans, concerned for his safety given his history of recovery failures.
“I blocked three people so far today who felt the need to message me with their unsolicited scoldings. Not one of whom I have ever met in person nor whom has ever paid my rent. I’m not looking to go down a spiral of self-doubt at an already stressful time because someone has a problem with something that is absolutely none of their goddamn business. Yes, I know about the crime. Yes, I know about the line to get across the border. At this point I’m starting to think there’s a bunch of passive-aggressive assholes who would like to see me get jacked after all. JUST STOP,” he wrote on August 2nd.
After five days living in Tijuana Slater had reportedly missed two days of work, according to co-worker Tony Tapia.
“Hello Friends,” Tapia wrote on Facebook, “I’m Tony one of Stevens friends and coworkers from seaworld who also happens to live in Tijuana near him. I am very worried about Steven. The last time I have heard from him was Sunday night when he was walking around San Ysidro Border. The last time his landlords seen him (a family friend) was Sunday morning when he left for work which I did see him that day at work. He has missed two days of work and doesn’t reply to his phone. If you know any information about his whereabouts or if he’s safe place let me know. Thank you.”
Another friend, Jim Fossett, a Los Angeles nurse, told The New York Post that Slater “left his job at SeaWorld on Sunday to cross back over (into Mexico). He seemed like he felt pretty safe in the neighborhood where he lived. I don’t know if he met up with the wrong person or he got mugged or something.”
Slater had made several posts about his commute, complaining that it “takes 3 hours to cross into the United States but one 5 minutes to enter Mexico.”
Within hours of Tapia’s post a “MISSING” meme was posted and the story that Steven Slater was missing went viral, making newspaper headlines and evening newscasts in New York and Los Angeles.
TMZ, the first media to report Slater as a missing person, reporting at 9:25 AM on August 8, said that the Chula Vista Police Department claimed Slater was “reported missing Tuesday in Tijuana after friends pled with the public just days prior to help find him. Cops say friends told them they had not been able to get in touch with Slater since Sunday,” TMZ wrote.
By 9 PM the same day Facebook friend, Jason Lopez, posted on Slater’s page that the Ex-pat was at home in Tijuana and did not wish to be disturbed.
Once again it appears, Steven Slater has grabbed headlines, coincidentally on the ninth anniversary of his August 9, 2010 “I quit” stunt.