Via Mediaite. Actually, my headline’s wrong: He grabbed a couple of beers, then popped the chute and fled. Which, simultaneously, makes him (a) the greatest airline-related folk hero since D.B. Cooper and (b) the inspiration for what’s sure to be Will Ferrell’s next movie.

On a busy news day, we wouldn’t have time to cover something this stupidly awesome. Give thanks, my friends.

JetBlue Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh had taxied to a stop at Terminal 5, Gate C around noon Monday when flight attendant Steven Slater, 38, was struck in the head with luggage that a passenger was trying to unload from an overhead compartment, according to an airport official with knowledge of the incident.

Slater demanded an apology from the passenger, the official said, but the passenger refused. The two argued before the passenger told Slater to “f— off”, the official said. The official said that Slater then got on the plane’s PA system and directed that same obscenity at all the passengers and added that he especially meant it for the man who refused to apologize.

Slater is alleged to have then activated the plane’s inflatable emergency slide, grabbed two beers from the galley, then slid down the chute, the official said.

The attendant then ran from the tarmac into the terminal, the official said. He made his way to his car and drove to his residence in Belle Harbor, Queens, the official said.

If you’re the praying type, pray that someone took cell-phone video. The alleged transcript:

“To the passenger who called me a m—-f—er, f—- you,” flight attendant Steven Slater ranted over the intercom, passengers said.

“I’ve been in the business 28 years. I’ve had it. That’s it.”

After activating the emergency exit and sliding down to the tarmac, Slater returned to pick up his bag and rode the AirTrain to his car parked the the JetBlue lot, cops said.

In the movie, Slater/Ferrell will slide off the chute — and directly into Katherine Heigl, in classic meet-cute fashion. He’ll become an instant celebrity, famous across America for his Howard Beale-esque display of mad dignity in the face of recession-fueled chaos. But as time wears on, the fame will go to his head, ruining the everyman who struck a blow for the little guy by popping a beer — and the escape chute! — that fateful day on the tarmac. Can the Love Of A Good Woman save his soul and restore him to the lovably humble lunatic we knew at the beginning of the film? Why … yes, assuredly it can. Exit quotation: “Sources said the steward was ‘having a bad day.'”