Fired: Air Passenger Who Used N-Word and Slapped Crying Child

Update: The 60-year-old white man who struck Jessica Bennett's crying 19-month-old and scratched the toddler's eye has been fired.

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The Smoking Gun

Updated Feb. 18, 2013, 1:55 p.m. EST: Joe Rickey Hundley, the 60-year-old man charged with slapping a toddler on a Feb. 8 Minneapolis-to-Atlanta flight, has been fired, his former employer said Sunday, according to the Associated Press. Hundley, of Hayden, Idaho, is no longer an employee of AGC Aerospace and Defense, Composites Group, Daniel Keeney of DPK Public Relations confirmed Sunday night.

Earlier, from Feb. 15, 2013:

According to the Smoking Gun, 60-year-old Rickey Hundley has been charged with simple assault after being accused of slapping the 19-month-old crying toddler child of a fellow passenger and saying, "Shut that n--ger baby up."

More on the horrifying story of the day:

As detailed by FBI Agent Daron Cheney, Hundley was traveling to Atlanta from Minneapolis in seat 28A on the MD-90 twin-engine jet. He was seated next to Jessica Bennett, who shared seat 28B with her son Jonah.

Bennett, 33, told investigators that the "aircraft was in final descent" to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport when her child "started to cry due to the altitude change." Bennett added that she "was trying to get [her son] to stop crying, but he continued."

At this point, Bennett recalled, Hundley used the racial epithet as he told her to shut the child up. He then allegedly "turned around and slapped" the toddler in the face "with an open hand, which caused the juvenile victim to scream even louder." The slap, Bennett said, "caused a scratch below [the child's] right eye."

Hundley denies striking the toddler or using a racial slur, but he admits he "asked the mother to quiet the child." He added that he was "distraught" on the flight. That's one word for it. If the allegations are true, we can think of some much more colorful language to describe him.

Read more at the Associated Press and the Smoking Gun.

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