ATLANTA - Federal authorities say a 60-year-old Idaho man has been charged with simple assault for slapping a toddler aboard an Atlanta-bound flight.
In an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, FBI special agent Daron Cheney says Joe Rickey Hundley, of Hayden Idaho, slapped the boy during a flight from Minneapolis on Feb. 8.
The child's mother, 33-year-old Jessica Bennett, of Minneapolis, told authorities the boy was crying as the plane came in for landing.
Bennett says Hundley was sitting next to her and slapped the boy in his face, causing a scratch under his right eye. She says Hundley used a racial epithet while demanding her to quiet the boy - who began crying louder after the Hundley slapped him.
KXLY stopped by Hundley's home Friday. At first he said he had no comment, but then came back and said the allegations are false.
The following statement comes from Al Haase, President & CEO, AGC Aerospace and Defense, Composites Group, Hundley's employer. "We understand that authorities are investigating the recent behavior of one of our business unit executives while on personal travel. The allegations are disturbing and are contradictory to our values. We are taking this matter seriously. In accordance with our company's personal conduct policy, we have suspended the employee pending investigation."