Stranger Danger: Stranger Allegedly Slaps Baby after Assaulting Him with Racial Slurs

Jessica Bennett was seated in row 28 on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta with her 19-month–old adopted son, Jonah Bennett, when a complete stranger, 60-year-old, Joe Hundley, allegedly verbally and physically accosted the two. He slapped her baby after calling the child the n-word.

Little Jonah started crying when he began to feel the pressure in his ears. This was enough to send their intoxicated seatmate into a complete rage. He started with a racially charged insult, telling Mrs. Bennett to “Shut that [n-word] baby up!”


Mrs. Bennett was understandably shocked and answered, “What did you just say?” No doubt she was flabbergasted and her mama bear instincts were kicking in. At which point, an intoxicated Hundley, moved in closer, with his mouth covering her ear (most facetiously, if you ask me) and repeated his racial slur into her ear and then he proceeded to allegedly slap little Jonah.

Perhaps, Mr. Hundley is a nervous flyer and had a little too much to drink. Maybe he mixed a nerve pill and an alcoholic beverage. I understand that some people need to take the edge off. I don’t know if this was the case but no matter why he was inebriated, there is no excuse for his behavior.

I don’t know about you, but I most likely would have been on full on attack mode. Firstly, I don’t like drunken people pushing up on me. My space is my space. Secondly, no one badmouths my children, not even jokingly. If you don’t have anything good to say to me about my children, you should probably just keep your mouth shut. My children mean the world to me, just like all children do to their parents. Thirdly, if you had the audacity to touch my child, prepare for battle because I am coming at you with everything I’ve got. Air Marshalls would have had to pull me off that man and restrain me with chains to keep me from tearing him apart.

Mrs. Bennett was frightened and who could blame her. A stranger, who not only invaded her personal space and racially insulted the person that she loves more than anyone in the world, had just accosted her; he physically attacked her baby. She witnessed her son being slapped and saw him bleeding and swollen.

Luckily, another stranger seated in row 16, Todd Wooten, heard Hundley call the baby the derogatory name and witnessed the slap. Hundley was charged with assault in Atlanta though his attorney, Marcia Shein, said that nobody should rush to judgment. Hundley will be pleading not guilty.

No sure how Ms. Shein came to the conclusion hat nobody should rush to judgment. In my book, if you are witnessed slapping a child and/or addressing a baby by a racial slur I am judging you as a drunken bigot who deserves to go to jail.

Do you think it matters whether he was drunk or sober? Are there any mitigating circumstances in which you think this sort of behavior is ever tolerable?

Images via iStock/ABC News

What do you think?

Stranger Danger: Stranger Allegedly Slaps Baby after Assaulting Him with Racial Slurs

Deborah Cruz, @TruthfulMommy, is the creator of The TRUTH about Motherhood, an often humorous and brutally honest look at motherhood. She's a writer, a wife, and a work-at-home Mommy who's trying to do it all well. She live in the Midwest with her 2 little girls and her husband. She has a lot of degrees from a bunch of schools but mostly spends her days shuttling people under the age of 7, while trying to maintain her sanity and she wouldn't have it any other way. She talks a lot. She ... More

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  1. Profile photo of Susanna Susanna says:

    Why the FU((**&&^ didn’t she BEAT THIS MAN BRUTALLY??? If ANYONE had the nerve to EVER call my child that name, much less TOUCH him/her, they would be BEGGING for the gates of hell to open up and admit their punk A(Y*&Y^sses!!!

  2. Profile photo of Susanna Susanna says:

    Why the FU((**&&^ didn’t she BEAT THIS MAN BRUTALLY??? If ANYONE had the nerve to EVER call my child that name, much less TOUCH him/her, they would be BEGGING for the gates of hell to open up and admit their punk A(Y*&Y^!!!

  3. Profile photo of Susan Susan says:

    While I agree that this man was way out of line verbally and physically, I do appreciate the frustration of sitting for 3-6 hours next to a kid who doesn’t want to be still in a seat, whimpers, cries and kicks in a tantrum. I was stuck next to one on a flight and she screamed the whole 3 hours, kicking me and her mother. I felt sorry for her mother, she tried to quiet her, but lets be real, I didn’t pay for seat to be abuse by a kicking screaming kid

  4. Profile photo of John John says:

    I am trying to figure out how the only person who “witnessed” or heard this name calling was sitting 12 rows away? The people across the aisle didn’t see or hear anything? How about the people in front or behind her? No? Just a guy 12 rows away from her. Makes absolutely no sense to me. I have been on an awful lot of airplanes for long flights and this sounds awfully difficult to explain.

  5. Really Jared? It’s on a plane so you know he’s not armed. If he slaps a baby he probably wouldn’t have an issue knocking out it’s mother. Men are biologically stronger than women. I’d a reacted immediately, and i’m not that big, I guess I have a conscience and am not a chicken shlt.

  6. Profile photo of JaredFremlin JaredFremlin says:

    Why are you allowed to drink on a flight, when i’m not really allowed to smoke pot on the ground??

    Oh Crissy89, you just crossed

    a line and I happened to catch you!! "Seriously where are the men on this plane?" Are you saying
    that a MAN, should have endangered his welfare, and assaulted the old man? Why do you feel like IT’S A MAN’S JOB? Equal rights ladies, you have them. PLUS, assault is assault, any man would go to jail for that. BUT…. A female hitting a male is usually forgiven or laughed out of court. So. Either you want a man to go to jail, or your just a simple female supremacist, which is what I figure..

  7. Profile photo of Melody Melody says:

    There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for slapping a baby. EVER.

  8. Profile photo of NickWarne NickWarne says:

    Glad it didn’t happen in front of me or I would most likely be facing grievous bodily harm charges against that drunken racist!!! Hope the poor little boy and his mother are alright!

  9. Profile photo of Crissy89 Crissy89 says:

    @ Laura, I can honestly say as a mother, If it were me in this lady’s shoes I would have seriously messed this man up. Why? because I know my temper…. There is a reason why people say don’t mess with a mother’s cubs. I would have handed my baby to the nearest person watching and commenced beating the dog shit out of this man with everything I have in me, then comfort my child after putting my foot in his ass. And if the authorities had anything to say to that I can reply I was protecting my child as well as myself.

    • Profile photo of Susanna Susanna says:

      I TOTALLY AGREE. WTF was WRONG with this woman that she let this man WALK away after hurting her child??? Maybe I’m missing something here but anyone who touched MY child would have to be wheeled away in a stretcher!

  10. Profile photo of Crissy89 Crissy89 says:

    Seriously where are the men on this plane??? How are you going to sit and watch this grown man put his hands on a baby and then do nothing??? Honestly, I would have seriously fu**ed this man up! Not only did this man call this child a n**er baby, but once the child started crying he goes and slaps him. Not only does this man need to be charged with a hate crime and assault of a minor but it also warrants an ass whipping of epic proportions. As a mother I can honestly say I would have put my foot so far up this man’s ass that he would be spitting out toenails. Woooosah, woooosah….ok, rant over.

  11. Profile photo of Erin Erin says:

    I’m trying to figure out why he was even on the plane. The few times someone has tried to get on the plane when they were drunk that I personally have seen, they were either denied entry to the plane, or were escorted off before takeoff. I also agree with Laura. If your child were attacked, your first instinct would be to care for them. The anger usually comes second.

  12. I am disgusted by this man’s behavior, drunk or not… I would have gone Bruce Lee on his bigot assface!!

  13. Profile photo of Laura Laura says:

    The guy is horrible for what he did and it matters not that he was intoxicated. He made the choice to get that intoxicated, he should suffer the consequences of his actions. I have heard and/or read so many comments "if it was me…" truth is most would not have laid a hand on the guy as you’d be too busy comforting and protecting your child. People really should lay off the "if it was me" bandwagon.


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