Update on Idaho man slaps crying baby reports: Federal investigators confirmed charges of a 60-year-old passenger for allegedly assaulting a 19-month-old toddler aboard a Delta Airlines plane on Feb. 8. New information suggests the man may have used the "N-Word" on the Atlanta-bound flight and may have been drunk at the time.
On Feb. 15, KBOI2 out of Boise reported that Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, from Hayden, faces a charge of simple assault. The child's mother, Jessica Bennett, 33, said the man slapped her crying toddler when the plane was preparing for a landing last Friday.
According to the affidavit filed in federal court days ago, Hundley, president of an aircraft parts maker in Idaho, "told her to shut that ('N word') baby up."
However, when the child continued on, the man allegedly slapped the child with an open hand.
A witness aboard the flight confirmed the account as told by the child's mother. Todd Wooten, who sat several rows ahead, said he heard a disturbance with derogatory language being used towards the back of the aircraft.
As Wooten got up to investigate the matter, "he saw Joe Rickey Hundley strike" the crying baby according to court documents.
While the child's mother said she witnessed Bennett consuming two double vodkas during the flight, the man said he only had one drink to calm his nerves. He was traveling to visit a relative in this hospital and was "distraught" over the matter.
The child and his mother were traveling to attend the funeral of a family member.
Obviously, emotions are high for both travelers, who clearly are not traveling for leisure. However, when a man slaps a crying baby, things take on a whole new light.
It's unknown why the man was not taken into custody or why this was not viewed as a hate crime as some in the public have asked.
However, the Idaho man faces up to one year on the misdemeanor charge for allegedly assaulting the toddler aboard the plane.