UPDATE] Passenger Who Allegedly Slapped Baby And Call Him ‘N*gger’ Arrested, Suspended From Job
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.
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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.”
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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 (http://kare11.tv/YyjZ58 . “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 (http://bit.ly/Xg2aJQ .
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.