By Matt Pearce
February 18, 2013, 5:42 p.m.
A 60-year-old business executive accused of drunkenly slapping a 2-year-old and referring to him with a racial slur has been fired, according to a statement issued Sunday by his company.
Joe Rickey Hundley faces a federal charge for simple assault on a minor during a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta on Feb. 8.
Hundley, president of Unitech Composites and Structures, an Idaho-based aerospace construction company, was sitting next to Jessica Bennett, 33, and her son Jonah, identified in court documents as JS, who began to cry as the plane descended into Atlanta.
According to a probable cause statement from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hundley “told her to shut that [‘N word’] baby up.”
Bennett said Hundley “then turned around and slapped [JS] in the face with an open hand, which caused the juvenile victim to scream even louder,” at which point other passengers came to her aid.
She said Hundley’s slap scratched her son beneath the eye. Another passenger, Todd Wooten, told investigators he heard “derogatory language” and saw Hundley slap the boy.