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Man charged with slapping child jobless

MINNEAPOLIS — A man charged with slapping a toddler on a Minneapolis-to-Atlanta flight is out of a job, his former company said.

Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, of Hayden, Idaho, is no longer an employee of the AGC Aerospace and Defense Co., according to Daniel Keeney of DPK Public Relations. Keeney would not say whether Hundley was fired or resigned.

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Al Haase, chief executive of AGC, in a statement early Sunday called reports of behavior by one of its executives on recent personal travel ‘‘offensive and disturbing’’ and said he ‘‘is no longer employed with the company.’’ The statement did not refer to Hundley by name.

Hundley was president of AGC’s Unitech Composites and Structures unit.

He was charged last week in federal court in Atlanta with simple assault after being accused of slapping the 2-year-old boy during the Feb. 8 flight. His attorney, Marcia Shein, of Decatur, Ga., said Hundley will plead not guilty. The charge carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail.

The boy’s mother, Jessica Bennett, 33, told the FBI their flight was on final descent into Atlanta when her 19-month-old son started to cry due to the altitude change.

Hundley told her to stop the baby from crying, FBI special agent Daron Cheney said in a sworn statement. She said Hundley then slapped him in the face, scratching the boy below his right eye.

Bennett said Hundley was increasingly belligerent during the flight, adding she was shocked when he used a racial slur after Jonah started crying.

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