Joe Rickey Hundley of Hayden was seated next to Jessica Bennett, 33, and her 2-year-old son. As the Delta plane, inbound to Atlanta from Minneapolis, began to descend the altitude change hurt the young boy's ears and he began to cry.
Fellow passengers told CNN as Bennett tried to calm her child, Hundley told her to "shut that [expletive] baby up," -- a reference to the child's race -- then slapped the boy with an open hand across the face, scratching him.
Hundley was charged with simple assault of a child younger than 16, which, if convicted, carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]