On February 8, Joe Rickey Hundley was accused of slapping a 2-year-old on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta. That's bad enough, but the 60-year-old man also supposedly said "shut that ni--r baby up" before hitting the lad on the cheek, causing him to cry louder. Now Hundley is out of a job.
The Associated Press detailed the initial incident.
The boy's mother, Jessica Bennett, said in a statement Saturday that her son has become "apprehensive to strangers" since the Feb. 8 flight from Minneapolis.
Joe Rickey Hundley, of Hayden, Idaho, has been charged with simple assault. His attorney said he will plead not guilty.
Bennett, 33, told authorities her son was crying as the Delta Air Lines flight prepared for landing. Hundley, 60, was sitting next to her and slapped the boy in his face, causing a scratch under his right eye, she said.
Hundley "told her to shut that (N-word) baby up," FBI special agent Daron Cheney said in a sworn statement. "Ms. Bennett received assistance from several people on the plane."
Bennett said the infant began crying louder after he was hit.
"Hundley's comments were racist and hateful," Bennett said in a statement to KARE-TV. "The family has numerous questions about how a passenger could get so violently out of control as to assault a toddler."
Bennett also said in a sworn statement that Hundley smelled like alcohol. Interestingly, Bennett and her husband are white while their adopted child, named Jonah, is Black.
Although Hundley was initially just suspended, for his racist and obnoxious actions he has been given the boot from his job. After news of the incident broke nationally, by the way.
Reports the AP:
Al Haase, president and CEO of AGC, issued a statement early Sunday that, while not referring to Hundley by name, called reports of behavior by one of its executives on recent personal travel "offensive and disturbing" and said he "is no longer employed with the company." Keeney would not say whether Hundley was fired or resigned. Hundley was president of AGC's Unitech Composites and Structures unit.
If convicted, Hundley will face up to a year in federal prison.