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