By: Carolina Pichardo
Imagine being in a plane, restaurant, or on a park bench sitting with your fussy toddler. He’s crying, you’re trying hard to calm him down, and yet it isn’t enough. When suddenly, someone leaps in and just slaps your child in the face. Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Well, that’s what Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, of Hayden, Idaho is accused of doing on board a Delta Air Lines flight.
The mother, Jessica Bennett, 33, said she was sitting with her son on an aisle seat, alongside Hundley, when the incident happened. As the plane descended and pressure changed, the baby naturally started to cry, and Hundley drunkenly said, “Shut that (n-word) baby up.” He then proceeded to slap the child in the face, thus causing his eyes to swell.
After the incident, Mrs. Bennett switched seats with another passenger for the remainder of the flight and simply cared for her child. As a result of this, Hundley was fired from his position with an aerospace and defense company, and is now being charged with assault on someone under age 16. This isn’t the first time he’s been under court pressure though, since in 2007, Hundley pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge against his girlfriend. This is the mugshot from that incident. As of this post, Hundley hasn’t yet turned himself in to authorities for the Delta incident.
Honestly, I don’t know what I would’ve done had this occurred to me. But I can surely let my imagination roam on what I’d like to see happen. This isn’t the first we’ve heard of such an incident though. Roger Stephens, then 61-year-old, slapped a stranger’s crying 2-year-old at a Georgia Wal-Mart in 2009. Then again at a Wal-Mart in Ohio, another 68-year-old man punched a 6-year-old in the back of the head. Both cases went to court, and a $150,000 bond was placed for the latter case.
As for Hundley, whether drunk or not, there’s no excuse for his behavior, especially since this isn’t his first time.
What do you think should happen to him? How do you think you would’ve reacted in this situation? Again, lots of kudos to Mrs. Bennett! You demonstrated true parenting power on that flight.
Young Urban Moms’ co-founder, Carolina Pichardo, is a digital marketer by day, writer and community activist by night, and mom to Lulu always. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @c_pichardo.