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California Dad Throws Son, 7, Off Tour Boat

Father told crying son he needed to toughen up
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2011 4:17 AM CDT
Updated Aug 30, 2011 5:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – A California father told his crying 7-year-old son he needed to toughen up and then threw him off a tour boat into a busy harbor as shocked passengers looked on, police say. Former Marine sergeant Sloane Briles, 35, was arrested for child endangerment and resisting arrest, AP reports. "The father hit him several times and then threatened to throw him overboard if he didn't stop crying," a police spokesman says. "The crowd on the boat became very angry at the father for hitting the kid and extremely angry when he threw him overboard."

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Briles eventually jumped in after the boy—who was not an expert swimmer—but he had already been rescued by then, the police spokesman says, adding that the father become so combative during arrest that deputies had to tackle him to the ground. The boy was released unharmed into the care of his mother, who divorced Briles in 2007. Briles was only "roughhousing" with the boy, his girlfriend says. "He was a little intoxicated, and he just had really stupid judgment," she tells the New York Daily News. (Read more Sloane Briles stories.)

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