• Tue, Jan 7 - 1:00 pm ET

Racist Baby Slapper Sentenced

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)

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  • Janok Place

    This woman has nerves of steel. I’d have been escorted off that plane so, so fast… Good on that judge, it’s nice to see some punishment being dealt out instead of justifying inappropriate crap with petty excuses. Unacceptable. Period.

    • Zettai

      Yes yes yes and yes.

  • AP

    The one time I flew into Hartfield-Jackson, I was nearly crying from the altitude change. The descent is sharp and it was incredibly painful. I was 28!

  • Rachel Sea

    If he’s lucky, that racist shitmitten will get the segregation he craves, otherwise his new housemates will be slapping the karma right out of him.

    • Alexandra

      Shitmitten is my new favorite word. Thank you!

  • Kay_Sue

    I’m just going to go there, because despite the fact that I try to overcome it, at my roots I am very Southern and a wee bit of a redneck (tis true), but I probably would have slugged him. This is the truth, and not some internet “I’m a badass” (I’m not) claim. Someone that hit my child would have it coming. The mother is my hero for having a vagina of absolute steel and keeping her cool. I am not that good of a person.

    I am glad the judge gave him a longer sentence than requested. It, in a small measure, gave me a bit of faith back in the judicial process.

    • elle

      Yeah agreed, Jessica deserves so much credit for keeping calm and cool.

    • rrlo

      Completely agree. I don’t think I would be able to control myself if someone harmed my child…and of course regret it later. This mother is amazing for managing to keep her cool. And now justice is properly served.

  • Bethany Ramos

    Jonah is my son’s name too, so yes, they should have thrown the book at him.

  • Fuzzy Selfie

    It’s important to leave an impression on young children

  • Scaredevil

    You should add that the mother had lost a baby at 3 weeks old and stated that did not make her or her husband turn violent against anyone. So that family understands what it is like to lose a child as well.

    • Kay_Sue

      I didn’t read that part, but that makes me respect her for her composure even more.

  • AmazingAsh

    Not that it remotely removes the responsibility from this gentleman, but he was actually on a flight to remove his young son from life support after an insulin overdose. I know that doesn’t excuse his actions, but it gives me a little compassion for him as well. I’d never wish myself into either of their shoes.

    • guest

      As a parent who has lost a child, I thank you for saying this. It does not excuse his behavior, but I understand his grief and how much harder it is to prevent rage from spilling out unacceptably. My rage often spilled out unacceptably – never to physical assault but still definitely in unacceptable ways. I am sympathetic without excusing him; compassionate for both sides.