Travelling with a baby is not easy. I’ve had some flights from hell with my child, but none that compare to the one Jessica Bennett and her son Jonah had last week. She watched in horror as a 60-year-old passenger slapped her child while yelling racial slurs. Apparently he was upset that the 19-month-old was crying. Oh my God.
Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, allegedly demanded that the mother of the crying child “shut that n****r baby up” before slapping the infant in the face on the Delta flight on February 8.
From The Smoking Gun:
Bennett, 33, told investigators that the “aircraft was in final descent” to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport when her child “started to cry due to the altitude change.” Bennett added that she “was trying to get [her son] to stop crying, but he continued.”
At this point, Bennett recalled, Hundley used the racial epithet as he told her to shut the child up. He then allegedly “turned around and slapped” the toddler in the face “with an open hand, which caused the juvenile victim to scream even louder.” The slap, Bennett said, “caused a scratch below [the child’s] right eye.”
Bennet also alleges that Hundley was clearly drunk. The Daily Mail reports that Hundley denies slapping the child, being drunk, or using racial language. He claims he asked the mother to “quiet the child.”
Personally, I don’t believe anything this jerk says. He has a history of drunkeness and abuse: “According to Virginia state court records, Hundley was arrested in 2007 following a fight with his girlfriend. Initially charged with simple assault, carrying a concealed weapon, and public intoxication.” There are also witnesses on the plane who claim they heard “derogatory” remarks coming from the rear of the plane.
I’ve always claimed that children aren’t the most annoying people on planes. This guy clearly proves my point. I’ve always been afraid that I would be put in a situation like this. I’ve only had one nightmare flight with my child – but some passengers were real jerks about it. The woman next to me asked me if he was an only child. When I responded “yes,” she said, “Well, I bet you won’t be having another!” I wanted to punch her. He was 20-months-old at the time. He was inconsolable. It happens.
Dealing with passive-aggressive remarks is one thing – but someone actually putting their hands on my child? I’m not quite sure what I would do. Not to mention the fact that my child is mixed race. I’ve yet to deal with any racism directed towards him. I think it would just make me so sad that I’m not sure I would even be able to react. Scratch that. I’m pretty sure my mama bear instincts would kick in and this guy would be bleeding. Stories like this make me hate everything.
Hundley has been charged with “simple assault” and may face a year in prison. If this happened to my child – I wouldn’t be satisfied with that charge.