ATLANTA, (UPI) — An Idaho man who was charged with assaulting a minor after allegedly slapping a crying toddler on an airplane has been fired, his employer said.
Al Haase, the president and CEO of Aerospace and Defense, Composite Group, released a statement Sunday saying the actions of Joe Rickey Hundley were “embarrassing” and “contradictory to our values,” KARE-TV, Minneapolis, reported Monday.
Hundley of Hayden, Idaho, was seated next to Jessica Bennett, 33, and her 2-year-old son. As the Delta plane, inbound to Atlanta from Minneapolis, began to descend the altitude change apparently hurt the child’s ears and he began to cry.
Fellow passengers told CNN that as Bennett tried to calm her child, Hundley told her to “shut that [racial slur] baby up,” then slapped the boy with an open hand across the face, scratching him.
Hundley, 60, was charged with simple assault of a child younger than 16, an offense that, upon conviction, carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail.
“Reports of the recent behavior of one of our business unit executives while on personal travel are offensive and disturbing,” Haase’s statement said.
Aerospace and Defense, Composite Group provides technology and other services for the military and businesses, CNN reported.