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2-year-old boy slapped, called racial slur on Delta flight

LAST UPDATED: 06:30 a.m. HST, Feb 17, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS >> A Minneapolis woman says her 2-year-old son was traumatized by a man accused of slapping the boy and calling him a racial slur during an Atlanta-bound flight.

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."

Hundley was suspended from his job as president of Unitech Composites and Structures, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Al Haase, president and chief executive of AGC Aerospace and Defense, Composites Group — Unitech's parent company — said the firm was taking the matter seriously.

"In accordance with our company's personal conduct policy, we have suspended the employee pending investigation," Haase said in a statement.

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Anonymous wrote:
sounds like too much coffee and too much stress on the job.................doh!
on February 16,2013 | 04:34PM
bullturd wrote:
You don't slap the child, thats what small kids they do when their tired. hungry then they become and grumpy. Slap the parent, iti's their child and they are supposed to calm them down. When we fly to the mainland and see todlers boarding the plane i've heard adults (me too) say "I hope that kid is not sitting close to us"
on February 16,2013 | 04:39PM
Kiyoshi2011 wrote:
You, and whoever else says that, obviously don't have kids. Please go back to the hole you crawled out of a die.
on February 16,2013 | 05:40PM
Kapua91 wrote:
o m g...as bad as it sounds, many people think the same thing. Go back to the hole he crawled out of and die?! Seriously?!
on February 16,2013 | 05:55PM
Kawipoo wrote:
Apparently you don't know how to control your kids either. Slap you upside the head.
on February 17,2013 | 04:15AM
Grimbold wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on February 17,2013 | 07:23AM
bluemoki wrote:
Are you kidding me? No matter what the mother did/did not do, there is no excuse for calling a baby the N word and slapping him in the face!
on February 17,2013 | 01:49PM
Dawg wrote:
Are you for real? Did you get dropped on your head at birth?
on February 17,2013 | 04:59PM
RichardCory wrote:
Wow, this totally deserves to be national news, because there couldn't possibly be anything more important going on in the world.
on February 16,2013 | 04:57PM
IAmSane wrote:
Yeah, how dare SA use up all 153 KB of their precious web space on this article. Do they think hard drives grow on trees? Show me that tree. Show me that hard drive tree. I didn't think so.
on February 16,2013 | 06:33PM
RichardCory wrote:
Cute, but there's still a limited amount of displayed "breaking news" articles on the front page, and this silly story is taking up a slot that could have been used to promote something more important. This story is a waste. Try harder next time and think.
on February 17,2013 | 05:18AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Yet you (and I, and aeveryone else in this forum) took the time to read it and even comment on it. The irony is pretty amusing.
on February 17,2013 | 07:41AM
IAmSane wrote:
Stop clicking into the article then, you dumьаss. No one's forcing you to read it.
on February 17,2013 | 09:02AM
Dawg wrote:
What planet are you on buddi? This is news about adults behaving poorly. Silly rabbit.
on February 17,2013 | 05:00PM
808comp wrote:
What the heck's wrong with people. They forget that they were a child at one time too,and that guys a president of a corp.How shame is that.
on February 16,2013 | 05:05PM
hanalei395 wrote:
That racist jerk is out of a job. The parent company want nothing to do with him. He'll probably be blackballed too.
on February 16,2013 | 06:24PM
serious wrote:
Did you mean white balled?
on February 17,2013 | 11:03AM
Dawg wrote:
Hey every now and then your real personality comes out. Jekyll and Hyde syndrom.
on February 17,2013 | 05:02PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
I think most folks, even the slowest among us, recognize that slapping a child will not stop crying.
on February 16,2013 | 06:26PM
Kawipoo wrote:
No but it sure makes you feel better.
on February 17,2013 | 04:16AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Well, that's true.
on February 17,2013 | 08:58AM
HD36 wrote:
Never fly without earphones and tunes. Even on the Super Ferry, everyone around was throwing up. I felt my stomach getting queasy until I put on the tunes and closed my eyes.
on February 16,2013 | 06:42PM
kainalu wrote:
The fact that it was child pales in comparison to the fact that he added the racial slur. That borders on becoming a "hate crime". The fact that other passengers came to assist the mother speaks volumns in terms of his plea of "not guilty". Spread butter on this dude, he's toast.
on February 16,2013 | 06:47PM
Dawg wrote:
Amen, they fired him today and stuck a fork in it!
on February 17,2013 | 05:04PM
st1d wrote:
don't like being too close to crying kids, or having one behind me kicking the seat. that's the beauty of public transportation. however, kids grow out of that stage.

someone like joe hundley, however, will forever be known his immaturity and lack of self control.

on February 16,2013 | 06:52PM
pizza wrote:
N-word... simple bad behavior becomes a hate crime... I hope they pin that dummies ears back. If he was traveling on company business maybe his company's deep pocket is accessible.
on February 16,2013 | 06:53PM
luv2play wrote:
Hayden, Idaho = white supremacy neighborhood.
on February 16,2013 | 06:59PM
Rivergrouch wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on February 16,2013 | 07:59PM
luv2play wrote:
well, then, they should all get together and love one another, right now.
on February 16,2013 | 09:22PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Good response. Mahalo.
on February 16,2013 | 10:08PM
aomohoa wrote:
Yes children can be cry and fuss on a plane. Yes mine did too. Parents do their best, but sometimes they are just tired and sometimes their ears hurt. I would have pressed assault charges. It was horrible enough and then the racial slur just puts it over the top. What a complete scum.
on February 16,2013 | 07:04PM
cojef wrote:
Babies do cry prior to landing, which is caused by the sudden change in cabin pressure, and only natural for they do not understand the dynamics of what is taking place. As for the the scoundrel who could not control his imbecilic, pea brain, feel the utmost sadness for him, cuz he is yet to grow up. He certainly lacks humility, kindness and an utter disregard for others. He certainly needs help.
on February 17,2013 | 06:08AM
aomohoa wrote:
I have pain in my ears frequently even though planes are better pressurized now a days. I have trouble not crying out. I just chew gum like crazy.
on February 17,2013 | 09:01AM
hanalei395 wrote:
That's it ... that baby was in pain. Sometimes I go through that same pain in my ears when the plane is landing. I don't feel like I want to cry, but I DO feel like yelling out ... OWWWW. (I do it in my mind).
on February 17,2013 | 11:09AM
Manoa_Fisherman wrote:
Sounds like the company should have bought a first class ticket for their president.
on February 16,2013 | 07:12PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
A child muzzle might have helped too.
on February 17,2013 | 08:56AM
ejkorvette wrote:
For the "asinine" and insensitive comments made by those sub-humans below, I say this: your life is unmeaningful that you have to make comments like you do. Gee, I really pity you and your family. Good news is, you are accountable for your feelings, thoughts, and words and will be dealt with accordingly. Not if, but when. Get ready. The words and actions by Joe Rickey Hundley, to strike a child with such hate in your heart, you too will be held accountable. One day soon all those that feel this way, will surely be on the recieving end.
on February 16,2013 | 08:04PM
false wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on February 16,2013 | 10:06PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Have YOU ever tried to quiet a crying two year old who's ears are hurting them because of the cabin pressure? Almost impossible.
on February 17,2013 | 08:27AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
A shot of Grey Goose usually does the trick.
on February 17,2013 | 08:54AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
For me, yes...
on February 17,2013 | 09:05AM
aomohoa wrote:
I sure have. The worst flight I was on long ago with my colicky baby that cried the whole time. My husband wasn't with me and I had to deal by my self. I felt bad for the other people but I felt even worse for my baby.
on February 17,2013 | 09:04AM
hikine wrote:
What's a president of a company doing sitting in coach or for that matter why isn't he on his corporate jet? Two year olds can hit that crying high pitch of bloody murder but it doesn't excuse Mr Hundley behavior.
on February 16,2013 | 08:54PM
luv2play wrote:
have you ever heard of his company? THAT's why he's flying in coach. And I'd wager it had less to do with the kid's age than it had to do with the kid's skin tone.
on February 16,2013 | 09:24PM
false wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on February 16,2013 | 10:17PM
hikine wrote:
He was probably irked that he had to fly coach in the first place! :D
on February 17,2013 | 03:55AM
aomohoa wrote:
Maybe he was in a bad mood because he had to fly couch with us normal folks. LOL!
on February 17,2013 | 09:04AM
inverse wrote:
Check the video. The parents of the kid look 100% Caucasian but the baby looks mixed like 1/2 African American, 1/2 Caucasian. The mother in the interview said she smelled Alcohol on Hundley at the beginning of the flight. The kid kind of looks like Obama when he was a kid. Combine the factors of alcohol, frustration of a president of a company with anti business, socialist agenda with the current administration, Caucasian mom with a hapa African american looking child, sore at Romneys loss & frustrated of the changing balance of ethnic makeup in the US, took all of his alcohol fueled rage amd frustration on the kid. This story is newsworthy. Maybe it is better this guy NOT be fired from his job. It might be better to help bridge the smolderimg racial tension that is GROWING in the US by having this guy pay the parents of this kid couple of thusand $$$, apologize to them with the kid on national TV and undergo mandatory racial sensitivity training. Firing this guy is only going to INCREASE growing national racial tensions, as seen with the ex LAPD cop Dorner story.
on February 17,2013 | 06:41AM
IAmSane wrote:
on February 17,2013 | 08:58AM
Kaluu wrote:
Interesting that there's no reference to where the man's from. I mean, Hayden, Idaho? Doesn't that ring a bell with the news staff? Possible mere coincidence, but...
on February 17,2013 | 06:50AM
stevedryden wrote:
I live in Hayden, Idaho and this is another example of why folks think of North Idaho as a racist area. Unfortunately, In many ways it is backwards and ignorant here, but there is no need to use racist terms towards anyone, baby or clueless parent. And, as part time resident of Hawaii, I've been called a few racist names there as well.....I think ALOHA is always the best policy, and managing a noisy kid on a long flight works too.....
on February 17,2013 | 09:47AM
hanalei395 wrote:
Since Aloha Airlines is gone, maybe Hawaiian Air can now use as one of their slogans, .. "Fly with Aloha, on Hawaiian Air".
on February 17,2013 | 10:30AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Mahalo. Now Go.
on February 17,2013 | 04:07PM
dlg808 wrote:
Oh no not the "N" word. You can traumatize him for life you "A" word....
on February 17,2013 | 06:52AM
entrkn wrote:
The guy was wrong but I've been stuck next to screaming crying mis-behaving brats on long flights a few times and the mothers are always pious and self-righteous about it, to add insult to injury, so I have some sympathy for him too... and the flight attendants never help.
on February 17,2013 | 08:41AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
But you should never, ever hit the child. Now, if you'd like to whack the Mom upside the head, well, alrighty then, that's defensible.
on February 17,2013 | 08:56AM
Sully77 wrote:
Somebody should've slap him across the face and see how would it feels
on February 17,2013 | 09:37AM
hanalei395 wrote:
He'll soon be slapped with a "You're fired". And might be slapped around in prison.
on February 17,2013 | 01:25PM
stevedryden wrote:
I live in Hayden, Idaho and this is another example of why folks think of North Idaho as a racist area. Unfortunately, In many ways it is backwards and ignorant here, but there is no need to use racist terms towards anyone, baby or clueless parent.
on February 17,2013 | 09:42AM
Ewaduffer wrote:
Recently went on an eight hour trip to the mainland. Noticed a couple with a small baby seated a row behind and to the right of us. My immediate thought was why are we going to be subjected to this on such a long flight? Well the baby started to cry on several occasions but each time one of the parents responded with an almost inauadable lullaby to the baby causing it to stay almost completely silent for the entire flight. I guess if one knows what their doing and if they care enough about their fellow travelers, a parent can in fact control their children.
on February 17,2013 | 12:28PM
tiki886 wrote:
I don't know what most of you are thinking but if anyone touched my 2 year old child for ANY reason, I would not stop beating on him until I was sure every bone in that person's body was broken.
on February 17,2013 | 03:52PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
And this being the internet, no doubt you are 6'5", six-pack abs, a trained karate expert and former SEAL turned mercenary who enjoys a fine pinot noir from time to time.
on February 17,2013 | 04:09PM
Dawg wrote:
And you bra! What you da man?
on February 17,2013 | 05:05PM
Dawg wrote:
Trust me, I agree, the dude would be toast and could have sustain some injuries in the 'struggle.'
on February 17,2013 | 05:07PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
This incident only reinforces why they should have a kid section on a plane. All the mommies and daddies can sit in the last four rows and have their kiddies scream to their hearts content. No more commingling screaming kids amongst innocent passengers. They used to have a smoking/non-smoking area, well how about a screaming kid/non-screaming kid section. If the airlines offered premium seats away from screaming kids for an extra $25, I'd grab that quick. btw.......smacking the kid was a no-no.
on February 17,2013 | 06:04PM
kailua000 wrote:
I was on a flight last week. Only a few people had boarded the section we were in, an elderly hispanic man would not sit next to a 20something black man. I was one row behind in the opposite aisle. I could not believe what I was hearing. He raised his voice and the black man got up, and stood out of the way, he looked so hurt. The flight attendant handled it well, she moved the black man towards the front in an exit row. but its funny how only when a white person does something stupid does it make the news.
on February 17,2013 | 08:07PM
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