UNDATED (CBS) -- An Idaho man faces a federal assault charge for allegedly hitting a crying child on a recent flight. The incident has caused widespread outrage.
The trouble started brewing almost immediately when Jessica Bennett and her 2-year-old adopted son Jonah took their seats next to Joe Hundley on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta earlier this month. She says, "...I said oh we are sitting next to you and he just kind of rolled his eyes and growled at us..."
Hundley allegedly began to complain that Jonah was too big to sit on his mother's lap, becoming more outspoken as the flight continued. Bennett says, "...he was annoyed with his comments he's turning my light back on after I would turn it off and constantly saying things to the staff in regards to my son and so I took us out of the situation and we stood back by the bathrooms..."
She stood there with Jonah for 90-minutes only returning for the landing. When the two sat down Jonah began to cry and Hundley became irate. She says, "...he looked at me in a very hateful way and he said ... shut that (racial slur) kid up!"
Shocked, Jessica gave Hundley a second chance asking "What did you say?" Hundley pushed up against her face and repeated himself. When she pushed back he slapped young Jonah across the face.
Days later, Hundley was charged with assault; punishable by up to one year in jail. And while Jonah suffered only a minor scrape, his mother worries about the long term damage. She says, "...he has suffered effects from this for sure."
Hundley was president of a division of AGC Aerospace, an airplane parts manufacturer. The company issued a statement calling his behavior offensive and saying he was "no longer employed by the company."