Skip to main content

Airplane passenger sentenced to 8 months for slapping toddler

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The Associated Press reports a federal judge sentenced the man who slapped a crying toddler on an airplane to eight months in prison.

Federal prosecutors had recommended six months after reaching a deal with Joe Rickey Hundley, 61, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in October.

U.S. Magistrate Alan Baverman said he imposed additional time because of Hundley's history of assault.

Hundley, who lived in Idaho last February when the assault occurred, was on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta. He was seated in a window seat in the same row as Jessica Bennett, who was sitting in the aisle seat with her 19-month-old son on her lap, according to court filings.

As the plane descended into Atlanta, the child started crying. Hundley leaned over to Bennett and "told her to shut that (N-word) baby up," according to a sworn statement from an FBI agent who investigated the incident.

Hundley, who is white, then slapped the child, who is black, leaving a scratch below his right eye, the FBI agent's statement says.

An attorney for Hundley said her client was drinking on the flight, but also noted he was dealing with a personal tragedy.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the attorney said Hundley had been awake for 24 hours straight after deciding to have his adult son, who was lying brain-dead in a hospital, taken off life support.

“He lost a child,” Hundley's attorney said. “And to hear a child scream … he lost it. He was up for 24 hours determining whether to unplug his son.”

Hundley apologized to Bennett in court. Bennett testified that the incident had serious emotional consequences for both her and her son.

The magistrate also sentenced Hundley to pay $105 restitution to Bennett, and to pay $2,500 to the government.

"You cannot assault another individual, regardless of how sad or upset, or even how intoxicated or sick, you are," Baverman said.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 10.24.22 AM

Teen driver crashes into parked payloader; 16-year-old passenger dies

The crash happened early Saturday morning in Waconia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 10.10.50 AM

Barrage of gunfire injures boy in Brooklyn Park; vehicles, apartments damaged

Police say they recovered evidence that more than 40 rounds were fired in the shooting.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 9.15.07 AM

Minnesota Wild back away from thin blue line T-shirt giveaway

The giveaway backfired when word of it reached social media.

Screen Shot 2022-08-13 at 1.26.13 PM

Workers at Minneapolis Trader Joe's become 2nd in nation to unionize

The vote was certified by the National Labor Relations Board Friday.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Driver killed in ATV crash in Brooklyn Park

The crash occurred in Monroe Park Friday night.

ambulance

Woman killed by suspected drunk-driver in St. Louis County

The crash occurred on Highway 21 in Embarrass Township Friday night.

Jaelyn Campbell

11-year-old girl missing from Mille Lacs County

Jaelyn Campbell was last seen in Onamia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 1.58.08 PM

2 ejected, 1 killed in crash that closed southbound I-35

The State Patrol says neither were wearing seat belts.

best buy

Best Buy makes job cuts weeks after warning of soft sales

The Richfield retailer has been dealing with a shift in consumer trends.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.26.20 PM

Man makes 'vague comments' about Jewish people, smashes own car with club

It happened at a course that was founded as a Jewish country club 100 years ago.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 9.59.07 PM

4 abandoned puppies found in a bucket in Willmar

The puppies were in good health when they were discovered.

Minneapolis police

Suspect of home invasion, murder in Minneapolis arrested in Wisconsin

There have been 57 deaths reported as homicides in Minneapolis this year.

Related