Delta passenger charged with slapping toddler - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Delta passenger charged with slapping toddler


A Delta Airlines passenger was charged with assault after a mother said he slapped her 2-year-old son.

Jessica Bennett, 33, from Minnesota, told investigators her son began crying due to the altitude change as flight 721 came in for a landing at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Friday, Feb. 8. She said as she tried to calm down the child, the passenger next to her uttered a racial slur and told her to quiet the child.

Bennett said the passenger, identified as Joe Rickey Handley from Idaho, then slapped her son's face with an open hand, which caused him to scream even louder. She said the slap also left a scratch below her toddler's right eye.

She said other passengers rushed to her aid, including a man who was 12 rows in front of her who heard the racial slur. That man said he saw Handley slap the child.

The FBI charged Handley with simple assault. 

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