FBI: Man used racial epithet before slapping crying baby on plane (Participation)

FBI: Man used racial epithet before slapping crying baby on plane

By Associated Press Published: Feb 15, 2013 at 6:05 PM PST Last Updated: Feb 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM PST

ATLANTA (AP) – A 60-year-old Idaho man has been charged with simple assault for allegedly slapping an infant aboard an Atlanta-bound flight.

In an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, FBI special agent Daron Cheney says Joe Rickey Hundley, of Hayden Idaho, slapped the 2-year-old during a Delta Air flight from Minneapolis on Feb. 8.

The child’s mother, 33-year-old Jessica Bennett, of Minneapolis, told authorities the boy was crying as the plane prepared for landing. Bennett says Hundley was sitting next to her and slapped the boy in his face, causing a scratch under his right eye. She says Hundley used a racial epithet while demanding her to quiet the boy.

Hundley “told her to shut that (‘N word’) baby up,” Cheney said in the affidavit. “Ms. Bennett received assistance from several people on the plane, including male passenger Todd Wooten.” Cheney said.

Wooten was seated rows in front of Bennett and said he came to help after he heard derogatory language being used behind him, according to court documents. Bennett said the infant began crying louder after he was slapped.

District attorneys officials say Hundley was not taken into custody and it is unclear when the case will go to court.

“We think that it is important to let the case develop, and we’ll see how it all comes out,” Hundley’s attorney Marcia Shein said Friday.

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11 thoughts on “FBI: Man used racial epithet before slapping crying baby on plane (Participation)

  1. See this is the type of things i hate. Why is it necessary for an old man to do something like that, especially to a baby who doesn’t know any better. And why was he not taken into custody? Reminds me of that George Zimmerman situation where they took a long time to bring him in. That just goes to sow you that we still have those type of people out there who show no remorse with racism. There are so many ways h could’ve ask or even helped the child stop crying but why would you be dumb enough to slap a baby thinking the child will stop crying, slapping the child would only make the child cry more and louder. That wasn’t a smart move by the old man, just gave us all another example of how racism still exist.

  2. In my opinion what Hundley did was out of place. I believe that a parent shouldn’t hit their children no matter what the situation is, with this said no one else should do it either. Hundley had no right to hit Bennett’s son. It wasn’t even like the man knew or was related to the little boy. It was also wrong that Hundley called Bennett’s son the N word. There was no reason for a man of Hundley’s age to use that kind of language. If Hundley was upset or mad about someone or something he should of took out his anger in a different way. If the boys’ crying was that annoying to him, Hundley should have asked Bennett to quiet her boy down. There was no reason to use violence and profound language. Just hearing about these types of events makes me mad.

  3. I was honestly in such shock after I heard this story on the news the other morning. I have no idea how the baby’s mom did not freak out on Hundley, although she was probably in a state of shock that just happened. I think that this situation needs to be taken very seriously so people know that is not okay. I just think that what he did was so evil and I can not even wrap my head around it. I hope that everyone can realize how twisted this is and that he gets into a lot of trouble and nothing like this ever happens again.

  4. It is upsetting to hear that an innocent child was hit in the face as well as by a man who is unaffiliated with the child and the family. Although I believe this country has become somewhat more accepting of different minorities, it makes me question myself when I hear stories like this. He not only spoke in a way that we degrading toward the child, he hit him too. I believe this follows along the lines of stereotyping. By calling the child the N word, it automatically places him in a group that people have previous notions and feelings about. In the eyes of Hundley, he was a black baby that was being loud and obnoxious. I am willing to bet that since Hundley used the N word, he would not have hit the child if he was white. On another note, I envy the mother for keeping calm and letting other passengers handle the situation. If someone disrespected and hit my child, he would have been hit right back. Overall I believe this situation needs to be taken further to not only punish him, but make it clear to the rest of the country that this behavior will not tolerated.

  5. After reading this article and hearing about it in class I can’t believe that it happened. Someone has the audacity to slap a crying child on a plane to “quiet” the child. Any normal sane person knows that will do nothing to help at all. However, once reading this and seeing the man, Joe Rickey Hundley, that he fit a stereotype of a person who would be cable able of doing this in my eyes. Especially with the statement he used before slapping the child. No matter how old you are or the ways society worked back in the day for, people need to realize that times change and the behavior like what Hundley exhibited is not acceptable anymore. The use of the N word clearly shows how Hundley has a deeper connection to racism which will only stereotype him more causing more people to be on the opposite side of his appalling actions once this case goes to court. Normally I would say that this will create rebound racism to be present in the child’s life. However, with how calm the mother stayed, even if shock, within the situation I feel she will teach the child than to be better to stoop back down the levels of a horrible man such as Hundley.

  6. These are the kinds of things that I hear about in the news that just amaze me. I often think about the kind of person it takes to commit an act like this one. I believe that Hundley has a much deeper problem than that shows through this story of slapping a baby. The use of the N word is in no way considered acceptable in most situations in our society and the fact that he said it on an airplane for everyone to hear is a very bold move. It’s people like this that need to get deeper help and look in to the true roots of their problems and racism.

  7. This is a perfect example of why I do not understand how people can say that racism is no longer prevalent in today’s society. Obviously this man has no excuse for what he did. Even if this boy was white, there is never a reason to slap a young boy, ESPECIALLY when he isn’t your own. I’m one for disciplining your own child, but that is abuse and is in no way acceptable. As for what he said to the boy and his mother, I don’t know how he could ever imagine getting away with it. I am appalled at the thought that he was never taken into custody and nothing was done right there on the scene. What was done by Hundley and by the authorities, I am definitely not impressed with.

  8. Personally, this story completely shocked me. Although i know that racism still exists, i thought that our country had advanced beyond this blunt hatred. For a man to slap a baby at all is completely out of line. Babies cry, it is how they communicate. What makes this story completely shocking though is the racial name calling. Not only did he not make the boy stop crying, but he offended people of many races. What i found particularly interesting was the fact that although this man hit and called a baby the n-word, not much has happened to him. He was not taken into custody and his court date hasn’t been set. If a father hits his own baby, there is chance that their child will be taken away from them forever. However, when a stranger hits an infant and calls him a name, nothing happens to him. I feel that this sends an incredibly bad message to society. People need to be held more accountable for their actions.

  9. Like others, I was absolutely shocked when I first read about this on a news site. The severity of his actions is more pronounced when you consider the fact that he slapped a baby who couldn’t possibly have been more innocent.

    Other than the usual statements of how this proves racism is prevalent in today’s society and whatnot, it’s interesting how one word completely changed the public’s perception of his intentions. If he just said to “shut that baby up”, then it would be a simpler case of assault on a baby, but when he added that word in, it opened up a whole can of worms about racism, etc.

    I am glad that such blatant racism is heavily criticized by society in general, and it does further the discussion about racism in society.

  10. What the old man did was completely and utterly inappropriate. It doesn’t matter what the child did. The man had no business to put his hands on someone else’s child, especially with out there consent and being a complete stranger to them. It doesn’t matter that he is an old man either. Just because he is older doesn’t mean anything. How would he like it if he was snoring loudly and disrupting people on the plane and someone ran up to him and smacked him? The fact that he used a racial slur towards a kid or another person in general was also extremely out of line. The man went way too far. But to put his hands on a child and then call it a derogatory term was appalling. I am shocked; I’m seriously curious what made this man think that his actions were even remotely okay. If he doesn’t like kids or black people or black children it really doesn’t matter. He is allowed to continue to be ignorant if he likes, but to act on it. And to this extent is very sickening. Babies cry, if he had a problem he could have just approached the parents or ask to be moved. In my opinion he went way too far. The man should be punished. Here he is talking about the baby being a disruption when clearly he doesn’t know how to behave on a plane either. There are so many ways he could have handled that situation that didn’t involve reacting the way he did. The crazy thing about it is he probably isn’t even remorseful about it either. I don’t understand how people can be cruel to babies it just doesn’t make sense. I feel bad for the mother that sounds crazy, she already had to deal with a crying baby and then an irate old man.

  11. I could not believe that thing was true. I wonder how that person could do this on a baby and the mother must be angry and sad. From this event, It can be seen that the seriousness of the problem of racial discrimination in the United States. Some measures must be taken to prevent this kind of thing continues to happen. Again, people should protect their own rights.

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