On Feb. 8, 2013 while aboard Delta Airlines Flight 721, 60-year-old aircraft parts president Joe Rickey Hundley from Hayden, ID allegedly told Jessica Bennett to shut her "nigger baby up." Bennett was trying to calm her son Jonah as the plane prepared to land. Hundley then allegedly slapped the 19-month-old across the face with an open hand, leaving a scratch under the child's eye.
Though Hundley denies using a racial epithet and hitting the child, another passenger sitting a few seats away confirmed that he did verbally and physically assault the child. Hundley has been charged with simple assault, according to a U.S. District Court affidavit. If convicted, he could spend a year in prison.
This is not the first time Hundley has run afoul of the law for assault. The U.S. District Court of Atlanta needs to make an example out of Joe Rickey Hundley by sending him to prison. The Court needs to send a strong message that says it is a serious crime to assault a child. And the fact that Hundley used a racial epithet during the assault should constitute as a hate crime.
Hundley should be banned from flying Delta Airlines and his name should appear on a national flying registry so that no other children are put in harm's way by being seated next to him.