Joe Rickey Hundley, the 60-year-old Idaho man, who slapped a black toddler for crying on an Atlanta-bound flight was fired by his employer, AGC Aerospace and Defense.
Hundley was subsequently charged with assault for slapping the toddler and telling his mother to “shut that n— baby up,”.
Al Haase, president and CEO of AGC, issued a statement on Sunday that called reports of Hundley’s behavior “offensive and disturbing,” and said he “is no longer employed with the company.” A public relations firm confirmed on Sunday night that Hundley had been fired, according to a story by The Associated Press.
Hundley of Hayden, Idaho, was president of AGC’s Unitech Composites and Structures unit. He was charged with simple assault last week in federal court in Atlanta for allegedly slapping a 19-month-old boy during a Feb. 8 flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta. The charge carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail.
According to the boy’s mother, Jessica Bennett, 33, the Delta Air Lines flight was on final descent into Atlanta, when the the child, Jonah, started to cry due to the altitude change.
Bennett said Hundley had become increasingly obnoxious during the flight and appeared to be drunk. At one point he complained that her son was too big to sit on her lap, she said.
“He reeked of alcohol,” Bennett told KARE-TV. “He was belligerent, and I was uncomfortable.”
Bennett said she was shocked by the racial slur she says Hundley used when Jonah started crying.
“And I said, ‘What did you say?’ Because I couldn’t believe that he would say that,” she told WCCO-TV. “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.”
Bennett and her husband are white, while Jonah, whom they adopted, is black. When Hundley slapped him in the face, he scratched the boy below his right eye and caused him to scream even louder, she said.
Hundley’s attorney, Marcia Shein of Decatur, Ga., told The Associated Press on Saturday that Hundley will plead not guilty.
Hundley told The Smoking Gun that he had only a single drink on the flight.
“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,” said the statement from Hundley’s former employer.
Source, Nick Chiles, AtlantaBlackStar.com