Man accused of slapping crying boy on Delta flight is out of a job

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

By Ric Ward and Michael Martinez

(CNN) — An Idaho man accused of uttering a racial slur and slapping a crying 19-month-old boy on a Delta Air Lines flight is now out of a job.

Joe Rickey Hundley of Hayden, Idaho, was charged with assaulting a minor in the February 8 incident. His company, which initially suspended him, said Sunday that Hundley no longer has his job.

“Reports of the recent behavior of one of our business unit executives while on personal travel are offensive and disturbing,” said a statement from AGC Aerospace & Defense. “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.”

AGC Aerospace & Defense supplies technology and other services to the military and businesses.

The family’s attorney, John Thompson, said they have not decided yet whether to sue. But he said Monday they believe Hundley should be punished beyond the loss of his job and possible one-year federal prison sentence.

“The family wants to make sure that Mr. Hundley and anyone like Mr. Hundley never does something like that again,” he said on CNN’s “Starting Point.”

Affidavit: Slap with an open hand

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta last week:

The boy’s mother, Jessica Bennett, 33, of Minnesota and her son were seated in row 28, seat B, on Delta Flight 721 that originated in Minneapolis.

As the plane began its descent into Atlanta, the boy began to cry because of the altitude change and his mother tried to soothe him.

Then Hundley, who was seated next to the mother and son, allegedly told her to “shut that (‘N word’) baby up.”

Hundley then turned around and slapped the child in the face with an open hand, which caused him to scream even louder, an FBI affidavit said.

The boy suffered a scratch below his right eye.

Other passengers on the plane assisted Bennett, and one of them heard the slur and witnessed the alleged assault, the affidavit said.

No comment

“I could not believe that he would say something like that, and to a baby or about a baby. And then to hit him was just, I felt like I was in another world. I was shaking,” Bennett told CNN affiliate KARE in Minneapolis.

The charge of simple assault on someone under age 16 carries a prison sentence of one year, court papers said.

In 2007, Hundley pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge filed in Virginia, according to court records.

Reached by phone Friday, Hundley declined to comment to CNN and referred inquiries to his attorney.

The attorney couldn’t be immediately reached for comment at the time.

Photo Courtesy: Kootenai County Sheriff

CNN’s Amanda Watts, Marlena Baldacci, Dave Alsup and Carma Hassan contributed to this report.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


  • angel

    had it been my kid i would have went to jail after the plain landed ,,i would have fubar,..him noway ur gonna slap my kid let alone my baby i dont think so

  • 'Thor'

    Fox59, you left out a couple of needed details. From a creditable news source Hundley was drunk and the baby was bi-racial. Details matter!

    • ClanSmokeJaguar

      Thor. You're out of your damned mind.

      As *IF* any of those details matter. Surely, you're not excusing this drunk bigot's actions because he had one too many cocktails? That comments makes no damn sense at all.

      Secondly, bi-racial, Black, to bigots like you, that's all one in the same.

      <shaking head>

      • 'Thor'

        You sound like Clinton on Bengazi, details do matter when it comes to journalism (yeah I know it's almost dead).

        He deserves jail time and a lot of it. Remember I'm for justice, no excuses.

        No bigot here, but I'm not PC either, not to say you are.

        Do you see Chris Dorner as a hero, like the lunatics do? I know you don't, but you're a bit twisted today. As far as bi-racial, why was that a big deal for that Johnson kid in Indy? I remember YOU had fun with that too. C'mon man.

      • ClanSmokeJaguar

        haha! Sorry Thor. I assumed your posting what you did was trying to excuse the perp's behavior.

        No, I did not see Dorner as nothing but a maniac killer.

      • Luke

        Do you have a life? Everytime I get on here and read an article, YOU are on every post saying something STUPID! How about you shut the h*ll up! Go get a hobby, a wife or something. Don't you get tired of commenting on news articles? You are nothing but a internet bully! Were you picked on as a kid? Did someone molest you? It seems like you have a bone to pick about everything and Quite frankly.. I think we'd all appreciate if you would just STFU! Thanks

      • 'Thor'

        Every article? Not hardly, in fact of all the current ones on 59 this is the only one I've been on right now.

        I'm married, several grandkids, hunting and firearms are hobbies along with reading(reading "No Easy Day" right now). I do enjoy commenting on some articles, but really not many. Molested? No. Picked on? Not really. Helpful to others when I can. I help support two other families. I'm retierd since age 49. And the most people I have a bone to pick with are the ignorant and the low-informed. That would include you, judging by your poor grammar skills and your propensity for vulgarity. I'm not violent, but can and will protect my family. No need to be bitter, help someone, laugh, and enjoy life. I'm not trying to change the world, but my corner of it, you betcha!

        If I have forgotten anything, please let me know.

      • 'Thor'

        Oh. Luke, I'm a country kid (redneck, hilljack, hillbilly,or whatever) and I love the outdoors. BTW, I can take care on myself, unlike half of the country that depends on the government for help. Foodstamps and so on, are you one of those too?

      • Luke

        Nope no assistance from the government for me. It's not needed nor is it wanted. Oh there is no need to lie, THOR is clearly in 85% of the news article's comments. So what you are saying is You are an old man with nothing to do, So you sit and point out the flaws in everyone that makes the news. How about instead of "Having a bone to pick" with the "ignorant and the low-informed" You help them get informed. There are several ways you can go to help others understand But since you lived your life and you are 36 breaths away from dying. You just don't care huh?

      • 'Thor'

        Luke, I really feel sorry for you. I have not lied as you seem to think (if you read all the comments on 59's home page right now 2/19/13 at 2:20PM you will see I'm only on one story. Hardly 85%) and neither am I old. I'm in my mid fifties and will always be a kid. You see I enjoy the aspect and wonder of play. If your reading comprehension was better you should have seen that I currently am helping two families. Again, my corner of the world. You should also know that not everyone can be helped, they have to want help and withouit that you're just wasting time. For years this counrty has spent billions of dollars to fight poverty and it is still about the same as fifty years ago, not much bang for over $300.000.000.000 (billion) agreed? A lot of those in poverty stay there by choice and there is no answer to that.

        I do thank you for your lack of vulgarity this time, that is an improvement, but your words show us all that your heart is cold and bitter.

      • Sherri

        Thor, this is my first time posting here and I was really shocked to be reading along and all the sudden there's Luke's comments to you. You don't owe anyone any explanations. Especially to someone like that…who just wants to pick a fight and be mean and nasty.

      • 'Thor'

        I'm just trying to help someone who is low-informed to maybe see the bigger picture.Some you can and some you can't, but you can at least speak the truth to them and after that it's in their hands. We have a shortage of common sense today.

    • cjmo2662

      I don't care if he was drunk or what the child's race happens to be, his actions were inexcusable! I agree with his family, losing his job & a year in prison isn't enough punishment- I hope they sue him for everything he's got left! He was an aeronautics executive if I read correctly, so they should be able to get a good-sized judgment, which I hope is put in trust for his education beyond high school,

  • John

    I agree, he needs to do his time in jail. This was not his first arrest for assault and to involve a child is not tolerable in the least. Then, the racial slur, when are people going to learn that human are humans no matter what. We have lost so many men and women who gave their lives for freedom, that freedom included EVERYONE.

  • Blackkat

    Thor why does that matter..? that kinda behavior is bred into someone. but he'll get what's coming to him. he's lucky the child's Father wasn't there. he wouldn't have done that. SH*T…

    • 'Thor'

      Bred into him, no. This type of behavior is learned and encourage by his social network. That is how ALL racism comes to be, it is learned. You will not find racism in two year olds, racism is taught to them as they grow.The black community, espescially the youth are "taught" it's the white mans fault. People like Jackson, Sharpton,and others hold to this type of asanine thinking. This was not taught by MLK, he taught to judge people by their character, not their color. I agree.

  • Katydidn't

    There are some individuals who believe because of their income and job status that good manners are not required.

  • Bev

    First this idiot was just that! A hot headed idiot!! Then he mouthed off a racial slur which in this day and age just shows that one is ignorant and racist! Then to slap a child, which is not even his was really mean and evil! Did he really think that by slapping a young child that this would keep his ears from hurting or keep him from, being scared? I do not wish bad on anyone, and I don't wish for anyone to lose their job, especially in todays economy, but he brought it on. I hope he gets the mental help he needs and thank God that this is a young child who wll probably forget this incident!

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.