COEUR d'ALENE - The former president of a Hayden manufacturing company accused of slapping a 2-year-old boy and calling him a racial slur on an airplane was arrested and then released on Tuesday.
Joe Rickey (Rick) Hundley, 60, was released by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mikel H. Williams following the suspect's initial appearance Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Coeur d'Alene.
Hundley surrendered to FBI agents earlier in the day, before going before the judge around 11 a.m.
As part of his release, Hundley cannot drink alcohol or possess firearms, must surrender his passport and cannot travel outside Idaho, the Eastern Washington district or the northern district of Georgia, where the case will be scheduled to go to trial.
The judge also ordered a $10,000 unsecured bond, meaning Hundley would owe the government if he failed to show for court proceedings.
Hundley declined to comment Tuesday, and referred questions to his attorney, Marcia G. Shein, of Decatur, Ga., who didn't return a message from The Press.
"That's all I'm saying," he said.
Hundley was the president of Unitech Composites and Structures in Hayden before the company fired him in light of the incident that has made international headlines. The company, a large manufacturer of composite products for aerospace, transportation, military, commercial and industrial applications, confirmed the firing Monday.
Hundley is accused of slapping the toddler Feb. 8 on a Minneapolis-to-Atlanta flight and telling the boy's mother, 33-year-old Minnesota resident Jessica Bennett, to "shut that (racial slur) baby up," according to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, for the northern district of Georgia.
The mother was trying to quiet her son who began crying because of the change in altitude on Delta Air Lines Flight 721, the complaint said. Bennett said Hundley had consumed several double vodkas on the flight and the slap injured the adopted boy's eye.
Hundley "reeked of alcohol," Bennett told The Smoking Gun website, which broke the story. Hundley spoke to the same publication and denied slapping the child and using a racial slur.
Hundley's trial will take place in Georgia, U.S. attorney office representatives in Georgia and Idaho said. The date wasn't available Tuesday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzette Smikle will handle the case. The office declined to comment Tuesday.
Hundley was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol March 13 of last year on Seltice Way in Post Falls. He registered a .179/.174 blood alcohol content, according to 1st District Court records. He was fined $800 for the infraction and lost his driver's license for 90 days.