WFAA-TV reported that Joe Rickey Hundley was charged with simple assault after slapping a 19-month-old baby on a February 8 flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta and telling the boy's mother to "shut that n****r baby up." Hundley, 60, of Hayden, Idaho is also out of a job because of his actions.
Shortly after the incident, a memo circulated notifying AGC Aerospace and Defense, Composites Group employees that because of an executive's recent actions during personal travel, he was no longer with the company. Hundley had been employed with the company but DPK Public Relations confirmed that he has since lost his job. Hundley appeared in federal court in Atlanta and plead not guilty to assaulting the child. The maximum sentence is one year in prison.
Jessica Bennett, 33, told the FBI that Hundley "reeked of alcohol" when he got on the plane and kept drinking during the flight. Her adopted son, Jonah, had been fussy during the flight and began crying when the plane began its decent. It was then that Hundley yelled, "Shut that n****r baby up" and slapped Jonah, scratching him beneath his right eye. Shocked, the child's mother asked, "What did you say?" and Hundley repeated himself, whispering in her ear. Bennett and her husband are white and their adopted son Jonah is black.
Bennett has reported that her usually outgoing son is now apprehensive and uncomfortable around strangers.