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Plane Passenger Accused Of Slapping Child
A passenger on a Delta flight has been charged with slapping a toddler while the plane was in flight.
The child's mother says the man was drunk and used racial slurs.
Jonah Bennett is 19-months-old and a curious ordinary toddler. But what allegedly happened on a Feb. 8 flight from Minneapolis was far from ordinary.
Jessica Bennett says she and her adopted son were on Delta Flight 721 to Atlanta in seat 28-B. Next to them in seat 28-A was Joe Rickey Hundley of Hayden, Idaho.
"He was being rude and belligerent and I just felt uncomfortable," Bennett said.
She says she even left her seat and stood in the back of the plane holding Jonah for much of the flight. But she had to sit back down for landing in Atlanta and because of the altitude change Jonah was uncomfortable and crying. Then it got ugly.
"I was having trouble comforting him and that's when the guy made his comment to me," Bennett said.
Court documents say Hundley told Bennett to "shut that n-word baby up."
"I could not believe he would say something like that to a baby or about a baby," Bennett said.
Then according to court documents, Hundley slapped Jonah hitting him in the eye.
"And then to hit him, I felt like I was in another world. I was shaking," Bennett said.
According to the criminal complaint, fellow passengers came to her aid.
CNN reached out to Hundley, who has been charged with assaulting a minor. He declined to comment and asked us to talk to his attorney. Hundley's attorney urged the public not to rush judgment and referred CNN to comments she made to the Minneapolis Star Tribune where she said her client will plead not guilty and "hopefully, this situation can be resolved."
Delta says it's cooperating with investigators and the plane landed safely.
Hundley has been fired from his job. His employer, AGC Aerospace and Defense, released a statement saying, "reports of the recent behavior of one of our business unit executives while on personal travel are 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.