An Idaho executive who allegedly slapped a toddler and called him a racial slur
on a Delta flight to Atlanta has lost his job and faces a federal charge.
Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, of Hayden, has been charged by federal authorities with simple assault for reportedly slapping the toddler. He has also lost his job at an Idaho aerospace company, AGC's Unitech Composites and Structures unit, where he was president.
According to Jessica Bennett, she and her 19-month-old son Jonah were on a flight from Minneapolis and as the plane was landing Jonah started crying. Bennett said she tried to calm the child, but he wouldn't stop crying.
Hundley was sitting next to her and "reeked of alcohol" when he first boarded the plane and continued drinking, Bennett told KARE-TV
When Jonah started crying, Hundley "told her to shut that n**** baby up," FBI special agent Daron Cheney said in a sworn statement.
Hundley's inappropriate behavior didn't stop there.
"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," according to an affidavit posted to The Smoking Gun. Hundley scratched Jonah under the eye, said the report.
Bennett said she asked Hundley what he had said, at which point he got even more aggressive.
"He fell onto my face and his mouth was in my ear and he said it again but even more hateful. And he's on my face, so I pushed him away." she told WCCO-TV.
The charge against Hundley carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail. His attorney said he would plead not guilty to the crime.
Al Hasse, the president and CEO of AGC, didn't name Hundley in a statement Sunday night, but said that reports of recent behavior by one of the company's executives on a recent personal trip were "offensive and disturbing."
"We have taken this matter very seriously and worked diligently to examine it since learning of the matter on Friday afternoon. As of Sunday, the executive is no longer employed with the company," said a statement on company's website
. "We wish to emphasize that the behavior that has been described is contradictory to our values, embarrassing and does not in any way reflect the patriotic character of the men and women of diverse backgrounds who work tirelessly in our business."
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