Joe Hundley: Toddler Slapper Surrenders to FBI

Thursday, 21 Feb 2013 11:29 AM

By Dale Eisinger

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The former aerospace executive charged in Atlanta with slapping a crying 19-month-old toddler on a landing Delta airline flight turned himself in to federal authorities back home in Idaho.

Joe Hundley, 60, of Hayden, surrendered to FBI agents on Tuesday and was taken before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mikel H. Williams via video at the federal courthouse in Coeur d'Alene.

Hundley was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond. He was required to surrender his passport and ordered to stay in Idaho. He was also ordered not to  drink alcohol or possess firearms.

Hundley faces a single federal count of simple assault. The maximum sentence would be a year in jail. His lawyer has said Hundley is pleading not guilty.

After the Feb. 8 incident, Hundley was fired from his job as president of the Composites and Structures unit of AGC Unitech, an Idaho-based aerospace components company.

Hundley was on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta, seated next to Jessica Bennett, 33, and her son Jonah. The child started crying as the air pressure changed during the plane's descent, at which point Hundley reportedly told Bennett "to shut that n**** baby up," according to a sworn statement by an FBI agent and posted on The Smoking Gun.

According to an affidavit, "Bennett stated (Hundley) then turned around and slapped (the child) in the face with an open hand, which caused the juvenile victim to scream even louder."

Hundley reportedly scratched the boy under the eye.

Bennett claimed Hundley reeked of alcohol and continued drinking during the flight.

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