As if you need a reason not to tip back a few too many drinks and slap a toddler on a plane, know that at least one guy is going to prison for doing so. Early last year a Delta passenger was accused of hitting a 19-month-old who was crying near him and hitting the child across the face while using a racial slur. He pleaded guilty in October and has now been smacked himself, with eight months in jail.
The 61-year-old former aerospace executive is off to prison for eight months, despite the fact that prosecutors had asked for a six-month sentence, reports Reuters. But a federal judge decided he should get a little bit of extra time and added two months on.
“You don’t have the right to raise your hand against another human being,” the judge said, noting that the man had a previous assault conviction and was on probation for drunken driving at the time.
The man apologized in court to the child’s mother for the incident last February, which took place on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta.
“I’m very sorry,” he told the child’s mother during the court hearing in Atlanta. “I made the most terrible day in my life much worse for myself and others.”
His attorney had said before that her client was on his way to remove his dying son from life support and was emotionally distraught, adding that his alcoholism contributed to his behavior on that flight.
The adoptive mother of the little boy explained that she had also gone through losing a child after she and her husband had to remove their three-week-old baby from life support. But that was no excuse to react violently in grief, she said, calling the man a “socially underdeveloped racist” and a bully.
“He treated me and [my son] like we were less than human and he deserves to be punished,” she said.