A white airline passenger told the mother of a crying child to “shut that n---r baby up,” but then allegedly slapped the 19-month-old baby across the face on February 8, 2013 aboard a Delta Air Lines Flight. The man has now been charged with simple assault and has lost his job as a result of the incident.
When interviewed by the media, the man denied striking the toddler or using a racial slur. He did acknowledge that he asked the mother to quiet the child. The man described himself as “distraught” on the flight and said he consumed a single alcoholic drink during the flight.
The mother told investigators that the plane was in final descent when her child started to cry due to the altitude change. She attempted to get her son to stop crying, but he would not. At this point, the mother claims the man used the racial slur as he told her to shut the child up. She claims that he then turned around and slapped the toddler in the face with an open hand, which caused the baby to scream even louder. As a result of the slap, the baby sustained a scratch below its right eye.
If this incident had occurred in North Carolina, the simple assault charge for striking the child is a Class A1 misdemeanor. If the man has no prior convictions of the same charge, a conviction would carry a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail.
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