Updated at the bottom: Papa says he and his boy were just horsing around. First posted at 2:24 p.m. Tuesday.
In the annals of bad dads, this suspect has to be a true champion.
Orange County sheriff's officials today alleged that 35-year-old Irvine man Sloane Briles pushed his 7-year-old boy off a tour boat in the middle of Newport Harbor because the kid was upset that his dad was arguing with pops' girlfriend.
It all happened Sunday about 1:50 p.m., Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino told the Weekly.
Briles was onboard the Pavillion Queen tour boat with the 7-year-old, another son, 6, his girlfriend (not the boys' mom) and 81 other people, Amormino said.
The vessel takes tourists around the harbor to point out residences of the rich-and-famous.
During the argument with the gf, the 7-year-old got “visibly upset” and started crying, the spokesman said. Dad allegedly told him if he didn't stop balling he'd be thrown overboard.
Authorities allege that Briles made good on that threat after “striking him several times” in front of shocked sightseers, Amormino said.
“He threw him overboard from the front of the boat” after walking the boy over there, he said. “It happened in the most busy part of the harbor.”
Luckily those aboard three nearby boats saw the boy and “converged on him” to pull him from the water, the sheriff's official said. In any case, the 7-year-old was described as “a fair swimmer.”
Dad jumped in after the child, but not before the boy was rescued by others, Amormino said.
When Briles tried to get back on-board, people on the Queen tried to block him, but by then Orange County sheriff's deputies had arrived and helped him get back on, at which time he was promptly arrested, he said.
Well, maybe not so promptly. Authorities allege that Briles resisted arrest and caused minor injuries to one deputy's hand and elbow.
The suspect and his boy were not injured.
Briles was booked on suspicion of felony child endangerment and resisting arrest. Our sister publication OC Weekly says Briles bailed out this morning.
The 7-year-old was released to the custody of his mother.
Rumor is that she filed an emergency protection order from the father, for the boy, in O.C. family court.
Update: In a series of TV interviews Briles insisted that he and his son were just playing in the water on a hot summer day.
Briles told Inside Edition:
Honestly, what it was was just boys roughhousing and then screwing around and then jumping off the edge of the boat.
He told KCAL9/CBS2:
There was no hitting, there was no striking of any kind, no anger whatsoever. I put him over the edge, and then he jumped and I went in right after him. I don't know where the `anger' came from because we were having a pretty good harbor cruise.
Briles has not been charged in the case.