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Man Slaps Crying Baby on Plane

Matt Villano

Undoubtedly there will be those who joke about the alleged Feb. 8 incident in which a (likely drunk) man slapped a 19-month-old boy on a plane as the aircraft descended into Atlanta.

There will be those who say stuff like, “Good for him!” They will quip, “Amen, brother.” In many cases, these people even secretly (or even not-so-secretly) may wonder if they could get away with something similar the next time they’re near a screaming baby at 30,000 feet.

That said, let’s get one thing straight: If this dude did what folks say he did, he is a flat-out monster.

Forget the racist undertones (though, on another blog, they might be an important part of the discussion). Forget the fact that the airline allegedly continued to serve the guy booze after he became intoxicated. For me, the issue is simple: This a-hole (allegedly) had enough of the crying baby, and took matters into his own hands.

As a parent, this scenario epitomizes one of my biggest fears: Randomly interacting with a crazy passenger doing something nuts. As someone who flies with his kids frequently, it is particularly vexing, especially since so much attention has been paid recently to segregating kids on planes.

Kids aren’t the culprits when it comes to bad behavior in the air. Like I’ve said before (a bunch of times), all they do is act like kids, and there’s nothing wrong with that. This kid, in particular, was apparently crying because of altitude-related ear pain, and her mother was doing her best to soothe him.

If you have a problem with the way my child is acting on an airplane, take it up with me. If that means you toss me a dirty look, fine. If you want to curse me out, go ahead. But if you decide you’re so annoyed at my kid that you feel the need give me an open-handed slap, you better be ready for the consequences. From someone who is old enough and big enough to fight back.