IN-FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: Allegations were made the racial insult and slap happened on a Delta plane
CLAIMS HAVE been made that a man slapped a 19-month-old crying child onboard an aeroplane, and that he referred to the infant with a racial slur.
American police have charged Joe Rickey Hundley with simple assault, according to The Smoking Gun, after mother Jessica Bennett, 33, accused him of slapping her son Jonah in the face and telling her to “shut that ni*ger baby up”.
The incident occurred on February 8 during an American domestic Delta flight to Atlanta from Minneapolis.
Bennett, who adopted her son, told authorities Jonah began crying because of the altitude change as the plane descended for landing – she was unable to stop her toddler from crying and Hundley, sitting in the neighbouring seat, is said to have then verbally and physically abused the child.
Hundley, the company president of an aircraft parts manufacturing firm in Idaho, was this week in an Atlanta court. He denied the charge of simple assault and said he did not slap or racially insult the child. However, he did maintain he requested “the mother quiet the child.”
The 60-year-old company president said he was visiting Atlanta to see a relative in hospital, describing himself as “distraught” during the flight, adding he had consumed one alcoholic beverage once onboard.
However, Bennett countered his claim and said Hundley was drunk, saying he “reeked of alcohol” and had drunk more than one double vodka while onboard.
If Hundley is convicted, he faces up to one year in prison.