Man Accused of Slapping Toddler on Flight, Using Racial Slur
An airline passenger is accused of slapping toddler and using racial slurs. Now the boy's mother is speaking out about the incident.
Especially under the cramped conditions of a plane flight, anyone who's ever traveled with a toddler knows it can be challenging. But no parent expects other adults to strike out at their child with violence.
That is just what an Idaho man is accused of doing. Sixty-year-old Joe Rickey Hundley is facing a federal assault charge.
He's accused of using a racial slur, then slapping a little boy across the face on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta on February 8th.
Hundley was suspended from his company after the incident, but now is out of the job.
Minnesota mom Jessica Bennett boarded the flight with her young son, Jonah. After taking her seat, she says the man next to her began complaining, drinking, and became increasingly belligerent. Bennett decided to spend most of the flight with her child standing, not in her seat, but when it was time for final descent she and Jonah returned to take their assigned place.
As the altitude changed, Jonah started to cry. According to court papers, Hundley demanded the child be silenced, used a racial slur, then lashed out.
"He fell onto my face and his mouth was in my ear and he said it again, but even more hateful. He was on my face so I pushed him away, and that's when he slapped Jonah," explained Bennett.
Court papers reveal another passenger on the flight hear derogatory language coming from the rear of the plane and got out of his seat to investigate in time to witness the attack.
Hundley is charged with simple assault.