As we reported, Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, the Idaho businessman who allegedly hurled a racial slur before slapping a 19-month-old infant on a boozed-fueled flight has lost his job.
Meanwhile, Jessica Bennet, the mother of the child, is describing how Hundley allegedly attacked her son,Jonah, because he wouldn’t stop crying during their Feb. 8 Delta flight from Minneapolis.
She says the first shock came when she heard him call her son an “n-word” as the plane prepared to land in Atlanta, according to court documents.
He “was so drunk that he fell onto my face, and his mouth moved over to my ear and he said it, just directly into my ear,” the Minneapolis mother claimed.
Hundley, from Hayden, Idaho, has been charged with simple assault and could face up to a year behind bars.
He had been sitting next to Bennett and her boy when the cabin pressure changed, causing Jonah to cry, Bennett said.
She alleges that Hundley had been drinking double vodkas before he blurted out: “Shut that n*gger baby up!”
Then he slapped Jonah near his eye with an open hand, which caused her son to bleed and bawl even harder, according to court documents.
“I could not believe he would say that and then hit him,” Bennett, 33, told NBC affiliate KARE. “I was shaking.”
She reiterated that Hundley “reeked” of alcohol.
“He was belligerent and I was uncomfortable,” Bennett added.
After being slapped on a plane for crying, 19-month-old Jonah Bennett is now ‘apprehensive to strangers,’ says his mother.
A Delta spokesman said flight attendants separated the passengers and called for law enforcement upon landing, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Hundley’s attorney said he plans to plead not guilty. Hundley claims he had only one drink and wasn’t violent with the infant.
“Hopefully, this situation can be resolved,” his attorney, Marcia Shein, told KARE. “ Both people are probably very nice. No one should rush to judgment.”
But Bennett said Jonah has been affected by the ordeal, and the child now acts “apprehensive to strangers.”
Bennett’s husband told KARE that Hundley should be punished. He previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in a Virginia court in 2007.
“We want to see this guy do some time,” Josh Bennett said.