When Joe Hundley was charged with slapping a toddler while using a racial slur, the country responded with outrage. For some reason, people didn’t view it as acceptable for a 60-year-old man to assault a 19-month-old kid.
Hundley’s conduct was egregious, but he’s hardly alone. Here are six passengers whose conduct was beyond the pale.
6. Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin’s sin was not that great — he just wanted to keep playing Words With Friends. Unfortunately, Baldwin wanted to keep playing even after flight attendants told everyone to put away their electronic devices. Baldwin argued the point so vehemently that he was kicked off his flight. Baldwin taking his anger out on someone for no good reason? That doesn’t sound like him, I know.
Did Baldwin hurt anyone? No. But he inconvenienced everyone on his flight because he couldn’t turn his phone off for 20 minutes.
5. Arrash Durrani
Durrani’s arrest makes an important and oft-repeated point: it’s really a bad idea to get completely drunk before or during flight. Bad things happen.
In Durrani’s case, the actor-slash-model had several drinks on the plane, and may have taken other drugs before the flight. The upshot? He roamed the plane slurring his words, pacing, occasionally screaming and at one point he grabbed a woman by the hair and tried to kiss her. Ultimately, passengers restrained Durrani, and he was arrested once his flight landed.
4. Anatoliy Baranovich
Baranovich, like Durrani, had been drinking before the flight. According to him, he’d been drinking for 50 days straight, without ever giving himself the chance to sober up. Perhaps that’s why he ran up an aisle shortly after landing and tried to open an emergency exit.
Baranovich claimed he thought the wing of the aircraft was on fire. It was not. Still, in his rush to exit, he managed to get the emergency exit partly open, causing significant damage to the plane.
3. John Hawkins
On a flight from Britain to the Canary Islands, Hawkins became upset when he was unable to calm his daughter. As a parent, I can empathize. Then again, it’s possible his daughter learned the behavior from her father; he flew into a rage, and when asked to calm down by another passenger, that rage escalated. Soon, he was shouting homophobic slurs at flight attendants. The pilot had to return to Manchester, where Hawkins was arrested. He was ultimately sentenced to eight months in jail.
2. Bawker Aksal
Aksal was sitting next to a sleeping woman on a flight to Newark. So obviously, he allegedly sexually assaulted her. Allegedly, Aksal slipped his hands into her shirt and pants, and when she awoke, told her to kiss him.
Needless to say, she didn’t.
Aksal was arrested and charged with sexual assault, but he has a novel defense. Sure, he says, he molested her, but only because she forced him to put his hands in her pants. While sleeping. I said it was a novel defense, I didn’t say it was a good one.
1. Joe Hundley
You didn’t think Joe would fail to make the list, did you? When you get drunk on a flight and allegedly assault a 19-month-old kid, that’s pretty hard to top. When you use a racial slur to describe the kid, that puts it into horrific territory.
Sure, Hundley is despised nationally and lost his job over his actions, but that doesn’t undo the damage to Jonah Bennett, whose only sin was being a kid on a plane. According to his parents, Jonah has become hesitant around strangers since the incident.
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