Entries in Delta (7)


Mother ‘Scared to Death’ After Stranger Allegedly Slapped Her Infant Son on Flight

ABC News(ATLANTA) -- Jonah Bennett, a 19-month-old boy, is at the center of an FBI investigation after a stranger allegedly smacked him on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta.

The toddler’s mother, Jessica Bennett, told ABC News she was sitting in the aisle seat of row 28, alongside Joe Hundley, 60, a stranger.

“Jonah starts crying because he’s feeling the pressure in his ears,” Bennett said.

At that point, Hundley, according to court documents, told Bennett to “Shut that n-word baby up”.

“I said, ‘What did you just say?’” Bennett said. “And he was so drunk that he fell onto my face, and his mouth moved over to my ear and he said it, just directly into my ear.”

Hundley, who is the president of an aircraft parts company in Idaho, then allegedly smacked Jonah.

“When I had looked at Jonah’s face, he had, his eye was swollen…and it was bleeding,” Bennett said. “I was just scared to death.”

That’s when fellow travelers stepped in.

“Ms. Bennett received assistance from several people on the plane, including male passenger Todd
Wooten,” court documents said.

Wooten, who was seated in row 16, said he heard derogatory language coming from the rear of the aircraft and witnessed Hundley slapping the child.

Hundley was charged with assault in an Atlanta federal court.

His attorney, Marcia Shein, said nobody should rush to judgment and that Hundley would be pleading not guilty.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Man Accused of Slapping Crying Toddler on Flight

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- A Delta Airlines passenger traveling from Minnesota to Georgia faces federal assault charges after allegedly slapping a fellow passenger’s toddler son for crying during the flight.

Joe Rickey Handley of Idaho was on Flight 721, set to land at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta on Feb. 8, according to an FBI court affidavit. He was sitting next to Jessica Bennett and her 2-year-old son, who began crying as the plane started to descend.

Bennett, who was seated in row 28 alongside Handley, told FBI agents that she tried to get her son to stop crying when Handley “told her to shut that ['N word'] baby up.”

“Ms. Bennett stated that Joe Rickey Handley then turned around and slapped [the baby] in the face with an open hand, which caused the juvenile victim to scream even louder,” court documents said.

The 33-year-old Minneapolis mother said the slap caused a scratch below her son’s right eye.

That’s when fellow travelers stepped in.

“After Joe Rickey Handley struck [the child], Ms. Bennett received assistance from several people on the plane, including male passenger Todd Wooten,” court documents said.

Wooten, who was seated in row 16, said he heard derogatory language coming from the rear of the aircraft and witnessed Handley slapping the child.

“Let’s just let the case speak for itself as it develops,” Atlanta Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Marcia Shein said.

Shein, who’s representing Handley, said her client will be pleading not guilty.

Efforts to reach Bennett and Handley by ABC News were unsuccessful.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Delta Passenger Who Bit into Needle in Sandwich Put on HIV Meds

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- One of the airline passengers who bit into a sandwich containing a one-inch needle earlier this week has now been put on antiretroviral drugs used for the treatment of HIV, and says the FBI is investigating the incidents aboard four Delta Air Lines flights as a criminal case.

James Tonges said he was placed on the drug Truvada, which has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, following the incident aboard a Delta flight from Amsterdam to Minneapolis-St. Paul.  Half a dozen sewing needles have now been found in sandwiches on four separate Delta flights, and Tonges, who was sitting in his flight's business elite cabin, was unfortunate to have bitten into one of them.

"It was on the second bite into the sandwich, it actually poked the top of my mouth.  It was about one inch long, straight needle," Tonges told ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday.  "Since it punctured the top of my mouth, I had to be put on medication, and we're waiting to see if there's any type of substance on the needle.  They're doing their examination right now."

Tonges and another passenger sustained minor injuries after biting into the sandwiches, and Customs and Border Protection officials found a third needle after confiscating the sandwiches, according to an official report.  Dr. Jack A. Drogt, a passenger Tonges had coincidentally met aboard his flight over to Europe, also found a needle in his sandwich.

Federal authorities, including the FBI, are investigating who had access to the food for flights originating out of Amsterdam's Schipol Airport bound for the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Tonges also told Good Morning America on Tuesday that his teenage son, who was travelling from Amsterdam's Schipol Airport on a different flight, was also a victim, and authorities are investigating.

"That was the uncanny thing," Tonges said.  "When I landed I spoke to the FBI, then I called my wife to let her know what had happened.  She said something happened to our son on a flight on a parallel flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta."

The teen would not surrender the needle to authorities, who noted he told them that he planned to use it as evidence in a lawsuit.

Although federal air marshals were aboard the Minneapolis-St. Paul-bound flight, they were not notified of the incident by the crew, authorities said, until deplaning.  At that point, the air marshals turned the incident over to the FBI, which was working with CBP and local police to investigate how the needles were put in the meat.

Delta airlines released a statement saying it "has taken immediate action with our in-flight caterer at Amsterdam to ensure the safety and quality of the food we provide onboard our aircraft."

The sandwiches were prepared in the kitchen of the Gate Gourmet catering company at Schipol airport in Amsterdam.  All such sandwiches have now been removed from flights and replaced with pizzas.

Gate Gourmet operates in 28 countries and serves an average of 9,700 flights every day of the year -- and more than 300 million passengers annually.

"You can't check every sandwich that goes aboard a plane," Former FBI special agent Brad Garret told ABC News.  "This demonstrates to people who want to do bad things … this is a gaping hole."

In a statement, Gate Gourmet said: "We take this matter very seriously.  Gate Gourmet immediately launched a full investigation to determine the root cause of this disturbing incident, and we are treating this as a criminal act. "

Last year, ABC News' Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV performed an investigation with an unnamed employee who worked for Gate Gourmet.  A video allegedly shows how easy it is to add unauthorized food to unaccompanied carts.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Flight Quarantined at Chicago Midway

ABC News(CHICAGO) -- After a reported quarantine, passengers on a Delta flight that landed at Chicago's Midway Airport were allowed to disembark.

The news of a quarantine of flight 3163 from Detroit followed reports of an ill passenger, according to ABC News station WLS in Chicago.

The CDC had initially contacted Delta and asked it to hold the plane, according to a statement from the airline.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Chicago Department of Health met the plane on the tarmac and worked with emergency crews to assess the issue. According to the city's Department of Aviation, the plane landed at the airport Thursday afternoon.

Passengers on the flight said that the plane pulled up to the gate after landing, but the pilot would not open the door, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. Instead, according to the article, two officers in Hazmat suits from the Chicago Fire Department boarded the plane to examine a passenger, a woman from Uganda. The officers took pictures of the woman and sent them to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the passenger quoted in the article.

The head of quarantine at the CDC told ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser that the female passenger, who had been in Uganda, had displayed a skin rash. However, she had no fever, swelled lymph nodes or other indicators of a serious infectious disease.

After officers on the scene assessed the condition of the passenger in question, the CDC released all passengers from the plane.

Health officials reportedly interviewed some passengers on the flight.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Delta Plane Rolls Off Taxiway at Atlanta Airport

ABC News(ATLANTA) -- A Delta airplane sustained significant damage when it veered off a taxiway early Tuesday morning while undergoing maintenance at the world's busiest airport in Atlanta, local ABC News affiliate WSB-TV reports.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson, the Boeing 737-700 rolled off the taxiway at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport around 5 a.m.

Eric Torbinson, a spokesman for Delta, said two maintenance workers were on board testing the jet's engines when the braking system failed.  No passengers were on the plane, and the two workers were unharmed.

The FAA said the incident has not led to any traffic delays at the airport.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Planes Collide on Ground in Chicago

Jupiterimages/ Images(CHICAGO) -- A pair of Delta planes made contact while on the ground at O'Hare Airport in Chicago Friday evening, but the collision caused no injuries, an airport official said.

Delta confirmed two planes collided to ABC News affiliate KSTP of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. -- the destination of one of the flights.

That plane, Flight 2207, an Airbus 319, collided with an MD80 bound for Atlanta as it pushed back from the gate in Chicago just before 8 p.m. CT, Delta said. A passenger on board the Minnesota-bound plane told KSTP it was struck on the right wing.

Damage to the plane was being assessed, Delta told KSTP.

Passengers from Flight 2207 and Flight 1777, the Atlanta-bound plane, were removed from the planes as Delta tried to accommodate them on other flights, ABC News Chicago affiliate WGN reported.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Two Jets Clip One Another at Logan Airport

Scott E. MacFarlane(BOSTON) -- A pair of commercial passenger planes clipped each other while taxiing on runways at Boston's Logan International Airport, possibly injuring one person.

Both planes suffered damage in the 7:30 p.m. incident, according to Massport, an agency that manages Logan Airport.

"While taxiing out for departure, the wing from Flight 266 from Boston to Amsterdam made contact with the vertical stabilizer of ASA Flight 4904, also on departure from Boston to Raleigh-Durham, [N.C.]," Delta Air Lines said in a prepared statement Thursday evening.

"Flight 266 returned to the gate and passengers deplaned without incident," the statement continued. "Passengers on ASA Flight 4904 deplaned and were transported by bus to the terminal. Both aircraft have been removed from service for inspections and passengers are currently being reacommodated on other aircraft."

A passenger was taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons, a Massport official said. One person involved in the incident complained of neck pain, according to ABC News Radio affiliate WBZ-AM.

There were 204 passengers and 11 crew on the Delta 767, according to ABC News Boston affiliate WCVB. There were 74 passengers and 3 crew members on the second plane, a flight chartered by Delta, according to WCVB.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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