130215191501-joe-rickey-hundley-story-topA man who pleaded guilty to slapping a crying toddler on a plane last year was sentenced to eight months federal prison. The prosecution only asked for six months. This judge is my personal hero.

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. He was allegedly drunk on the flight. The judge imposed a higher sentence than the prosecution requested because of Hundley’s criminal history. He was arrested in 2007 following a fight with his girlfriend. He was charged with simple assault, carrying a concealed weapon, and public intoxication.

He attempted to excuse his actions last year by explaining that he was on the way to his son’s funeral. While that is awful, it doesn’t give him a pass to assault and hurl racist remarks at a toddler. Thankfully, the judge agreed.

I’m glad Jessica Bennet  and her son Jonah got some justice here. I can’t even imagine how I would react to something like this. Traveling with a toddler is stressful enough – can you imagine adding “assault” to the list of things you had to deal with in the air? Bennet 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.” Yes – sometimes kids do that.

The only thing I’ve ever had to deal with in the air are some passive-aggressive remarks from other passengers on one particularly hard flight with my child. That was bad enough. But someone drunken jerk actually putting his hands on a child? The slap caused a scratch below the child’s right eye. I applaud this mother for keeping her cool and I especially applaud the judge for punishing what appears to be a pattern of aggressive behavior.

(photo: Kootenai County Sheriff)