MINNEAPOLIS-- The north Idaho man charged with slapping a toddler and calling him a racial slur on a flight this month, appears to be out of a job.
Joe Hundley, 60, of Hayden was an executive at AGC Aerospace and Defense. The company released a statement yesterday calling his behavior on personal travel "offensive and disturbing" and says he "is no longer employed with the company."
The statement does not say whether Hundley quit or was fired. Hundley's lawyer says his client will plead not guilty to assault.
For the first time we're hearing from the parents of that toddler, who describe Hundley's actions as "heinous and hateful."
"Do you wanna sing twinkle twinkle?" says Jessica Bennett to her smart and smiley 19-month-old, Jonah.
However, it's what happened on a Delta flight that has Jonah's parents doing anything but smile. Earlier this month, Bennett and her son were flying to Atlanta and sat next to 60-year-old Joe Hundley of Hayden, Idaho.
"He was being rude and belligerent and I just felt uncomfortable," Bennett explained.
She says Hundley reeked of alcohol and continued to drink on board. As the plane began to descend, Jonah got fussy and the already uncomfortable flight got worse.
"I was having trouble comforting him and that's when the guy made his comment to me," Bennett said.
Court documents state this is when Hundley allegedly told Jessica to "shut that (n-word) baby up."
Yet, it didn't end there, Hundley used the racial slur a second time and then allegedly slapped Jonah, hitting him in the eye. "I could not believe he would say something like that to a baby or about a baby and then to hit him... I felt like I was in another world," Bennett said. "I was shaking."
Jessica says other passengers came to her aid and the two were given a new seat.
But while Jonah is back to being a curious toddler, his parents call Hundley's actions heinous and hateful, and want something to be done.
"All the evidence is sufficient enough to support what we're saying. I think we hope he's punished as much as he possibly can be," Bennett said.
It's an experience this family never wants to go through again, but one this family will think about the next time they fly.
"I think I'll be replaying it the whole time," Bennett said. "Very traumatic."