Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Man accused of slapping toddler on plane loses job

An Idaho executive charged with slapping a toddler on a Delta Airlines flight has been fired from his job, the former employer confirmed in various news reports. The news sent shockwaves through the social media world, enraging parents - especially mothers.

Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, is no longer employed by AGC Aerospace and Defense, Composites Group, according to news reports. AGC's president and CEO Al Hasse said Sunday that reports of recent behavior by one of his unit executives is "offensive and disturbing."

"We have taken this matter very seriously and worked diligently to examine it since learning of the matter on Friday afternoon. As of Sunday, the executive is no longer employed with the company," Hasse said. Since this is a personnel matter, we can't describe further specifics of Hundley's departure from the company.

Hundley was on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta, set to land at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Feb. 8, according to the report that cited a FBI court affidavit. He was sitting next to Jessica Bennett and her 19-month-old son, who began crying as the plane started to descend. Bennett said her son Jonah started crying because he was feeling the pressure in his ears.

Bennett told authorities that she tried to get her son to stop crying when Hundley told her to "shut that n****r baby up."Bennett said Hundley was drunk that he fell into her face and moved over to her ear and repeated it directly into her ear after she asked, "What did you just say?" Then, Bennett said Hundley slapped her son in the face.

"When I had looked at Jonah's face, he had, his eye was swollen...and it was bleeding," Bennett said. "I was just scared to death." Then, other travelers stepped in to assist Bennett. Witness told FBI officials that they heard derogatory language and witnessed Hundley slapping the child. Hundley was charged with simple assault and if convicted, he faces a maximum term of one year in prison. His attorney Marchia Shein said Hundley will plead not guilty to the misdemeanor charge.

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