According to The Smoking Gun, Joe Rickey Hundley has been charged with simple assault for allegedly slapping a baby on board a Delta Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta last Friday when a 2-year-old boy sitting next to him began crying as the plane prepared for landing.
The boy's mother, Jessica Bennett, reported that the 60-year-old man caused a scratch under her son's eye and used a racial slur while demanding that she silence her baby. An affidavit filed in U.S. District Court said Hundley "told her to shut that [N-word] baby up." Several other passengers aboard the plane defended Bennett after hearing the man use the derogatory word.
Hundley was put in handcuffs and charged with simple assault.
Bennett says Hundley already smelled of alcohol when he came onboard and proceeded to slam several double-vodkas during the flight, but he said he consumed just one drink.
If Hundley gets charged, he could face up to a year in prison. However, the man was not taken into custody and the case may not even 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.
The Daily Mail reports that the man, president of an aircraft parts manufacturer based in Idaho, denies both slapping the baby and using the derogatory word, but admits that he did "ask the mother to quiet the child."