Man Faces Federal Investigation After Slapping Child on Plane
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Published on Feb 17, 2013
UPDATE: The Minneapolis mother of a boy allegedly slapped by a passenger aboard an Atlanta-bound flight says the toddler has now become apprehensive of strangers.
Jessica Bennett told authorities that Joe Hundley slapped her 2-year-old boy in the face and called him a racial slur when the child was crying on a flight from Minneapolis on Feb. 8.
In a statement provided to KARE-TV, Bennett says the family has a lot of questions about how the 60-year-old passenger could get so out of control. She says it's caused emotional trauma to the entire family.
Hundley faces a federal charge of simple assault. Hundley's attorney, Marcia Shein, said Saturday he will plead not guilty.
(AP) — A 60-year-old Idaho man has been charged with simple assault for allegedly slapping an infant aboard an Atlanta-bound flight.
In an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, FBI special agent Daron Cheney says Joe Rickey Hundley, of Hayden Idaho, slapped the 2-year-old boy during a Delta Air Lines flight from Minneapolis on Feb. 8.
The child's mother, 33-year-old Jessica Bennett, of Minneapolis, told authorities the boy was crying as the plane prepared for landing. Bennett says Hundley was sitting next to her and slapped the boy in his face, causing a scratch under his right eye. She says Hundley used a racial epithet while demanding her to quiet the boy.
Hundley "told her to shut that ('N word') baby up," Cheney said in the affidavit. "Ms. Bennett received assistance from several people on the plane, including male passenger Todd Wooten." Cheney said.
Wooten was seated rows in front of Bennett and said he came to help after he heard derogatory language being used behind him, according to court documents. Bennett said the infant began crying louder after he was slapped.
District attorneys officials say Hundley was not taken into custody and it is unclear when the case will go to court.
"We think that it is important to let the case develop, and we'll see how it all comes out," Hundley's attorney Marcia Shein said Friday.
A phone number for Bennett could not be located.
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