Businessman Who Slapped Crying Toddler On Delta Flight Sentenced To Federal Prison

The businessman who last year slapped a crying toddler in the face on a Delta Air Lines flight--after using a racial slur when demanding that the child’s mother silence him--was sentenced today to eight months in federal prison.

Joe Rickey Hundley, 61, was arrested following last February’s incident aboard a plane heading from Minnesota to Georgia.

According to an FBI affidavit, Jessica Bennett’s 19-month-old son Jonah (seen at right) began to cry as the aircraft began its descent into Atlanta. Bennett told investigators that her child was in distress “due to the altitude change.”

Hundley, who appeared intoxicated, was seated next to Bennett (whose son was on her lap). As the child cried, Hundley demanded that Bennett “shut that nigger baby up.” He then “turned around and slapped” the toddler in the face, leaving Jonah with a scratch below his right eye.

In October, Hundley pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge. While prosecutors recommended a six-month prison term, a federal magistrate today opted for a harsher sentence due to Hundley’s prior conviction for assaulting a girlfriend.

Hundley, pictured at left, apologized to Bennett during the sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Bennett told the court that she considered Hundley a “bully” who chose to “unleash his bigotry” against a woman with a young child.