A man who allegedly used a racial slur and slapped a crying baby on a Delta Airlines flight has been fired from his job and charged with assault.
Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, of Hayden, Id., assaulted 19-month-old Jonah Bennett on a Feb. 8 flight from to Minneapolis to Atlanta, reported CNN.
A rep for AGC Aerospace & Defense said Sunday that Hundley is no longer with the company.
"Reports of the recent behavior of one of our business unit executives while on personal travel are offensive and disturbing," the company said in a statement.
"We have taken this matter very seriously and worked diligently to examine it since learning of the matter on Friday afternoon."
The child's mother, 33-year-old Jessica Bennett, said the she spent the better part of the flight in the rear of the plane with her son Jonah to escape Hundley, whom she said smelled of alcohol.
According to CNN, she had to return to her seat for the descent into Atlanta when the boy started crying.
Hundley allegedly "told her to shut that (N-word) baby up," court records showed.
Hundley then slapped the baby, scratching him below the eye.
"I could not believe he would say something like that to a baby or about a baby and then to hit him," Bennett told CBS Atlanta. "I felt like I was in another world. I was shaking."
John Thompson, a lawyer for the Bennett family, told CNN the Bennett's were surprised they had to deal with the issue of race so early in their child's life.
Bennett and her husband are white, while their adopted son is black.
Hundley's attorney Marcia Shein denied that racism was a factor in her client's behavior.
"He is not a racist," Shein told the Chicago Tribune. "I'm going to make that real clear because that's what people are suggesting. There's background information people don't know about, and in time it will come out."
"I'm sorry the family is upset," the attorney added. "I can understand why they would be."