Unbelievable: Baby Slapped On Plane By 60-Year-Old Racist Passenger

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shutterstock_48977653Travelling 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.

(photo: lukacs racz/


  1. Frances Bean

    February 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    This is awful. I hope this monster gets prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Drunken douche. This is why I don’t fly with my kids. I don’t think I could handle a confrontation with either guys like this or passive aggressive asshats very well. I also think they should limit the number of drinks you can have on a plane (though he could have been drunk before boarding). You can’t get drunk on a Greyhound for this very reason, and commercial flights have become just as bad, if not worse, than flying.

    • Paul White

      February 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      I can’t imagine getting drunk on an airplane-they charge so much for their booze that’d leave me broke!

    • Frances Bean

      February 17, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      You’d be surprised! I used to fly a lot for work and personal reasons and I once had another drunken passenger grab my boob (true story).

  2. Miranda

    February 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    I don’t even let close friends who come over a lot discipline my child, aside from his godfather. A complete stranger? I would probably choke the son of a bitch.

    • GoaG

      February 16, 2013 at 11:31 pm


    • Miranda

      February 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Classy is my middle name.

  3. whiteroses

    February 16, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    I’m sorry, if ANYONE other than his father or his grandparents ever put a hand on my child, they’d be drawing back a bloody stump. I don’t care what their reasoning is. The way I see it is, if you discipline my kid and I haven’t given you permission to do so, you should be prepared for my wrath, and it won’t be pretty.

    • Liz

      June 18, 2013 at 9:26 am

      If my child’s father, grandfather, or ANYONE put a hand on my child, they’d be drawing back a bloody stump.

  4. Portia

    February 17, 2013 at 8:38 am

    You know, normally I don’t hit old people and I prefer to resolve conflicts like an adult. But if you hit my child, watch what happens when my alter-ego Brooklyn emerges and hauls out on your ass. Seriously. That’s just how much I’m willing to protect my child.

  5. Blueathena623

    February 17, 2013 at 10:05 am

    This is not making me feel any better about having to fly out and in to heartsfield in 2 weeks with my 1yr old son who is having problems with ear infections and can’t be doped with benedryl (makes him squirrelly).
    What’s weird about this though — and I believe the parents — is that shouldn’t this be easy to prove? Can’t they just ask the other passengers?

    • Blooming_Babies

      February 17, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Yes they have solid witnesses from the plane

    • Itpainsmetosay

      January 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      My mom can totally relate to the Benedryl thing. She gave it to me and my sister and we were I quote “climbing up the walls”.

  6. Stina Wargo Kolling

    February 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    A 19-month-old is not an infant.

    • Courtney Lynn

      February 18, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      True, it’s more like a toddler, but is that really relevant to some asshole slapping a small child?

  7. Faye

    February 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Slapping a baby in a racist drunken rage is “simple assault?” If I were this mom, I’d have my baby checked out to make sure no internal damage was done to the baby’s brain. Strikes/shaking of babies doesn’t always lead to death but can cause internal damage. Your skull doesn’t fully ossify until you’re around nine so it’s still pretty squishy even at 19 mos.

  8. AP

    February 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    This isn’t restricted to flying- I saw an older couple curse out and threaten 18-month old on an Amtrak train. I was 1-2 rows back and over, so I saw the whole thing. The kid was riding on Mom’s lap, behaving and under control, but squirmed and in shifting, kicked the older gentleman’s “bad leg,” which led to him and his wife screaming and threatening the kid.

    The conductor came over and told them that their behavior was unacceptable, that if they had a disability they should have let Amtrak know in advance, and that if they didn’t cut it out, they’d be put off the train at the next station and the police would be called.

    And I have to say, the most painful ear/sinus pain I ever had flying was landing at Hatfield-Atlanta. I’m a grown woman and I was whimpering in pain from the descent. The poor baby must have been miserable.

  9. C.J.

    February 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    That man should be banned from flying again.

  10. Shelly Lloyd

    February 19, 2013 at 7:55 am

    I read this morning that the man who slapped the child has been fired from his job, and the mother is filing charges. I am wondering, since he used a racial slur when he did this–will his charged to upped to a hate crime?

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