NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.“Going overboard” Sloan Briles, the Southern California father jailed for throwing his 7-year-old special needs son off a cruise boat Sunday, says he was just having fun.
Briles, 35, says he did nothing wrong and “we were having fun, it was a harbor cruise!”
“We jumped in together; we thought it would be funny.”
However, several witnesses said, Briles and his girlfriend were arguing aboard a commercial sightseeing boat carrying an estimated 85 passengers, says Orange County Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino, reports CBS station KCBS.
The boy was crying because of the argument and was told to stop crying by Briles. Witnesses say Briles struck his son repeatedly and then tossed him overboard.
“Three boaters that were nearby came to the boy’s rescue,” said Amormino.“The father did eventually jump in, but by that time the boy was rescued by a boater.”
Both the boy and his 6-year-old brother were later returned to their mother’s care, the Associated Press reported.
The boy’s mother, Briles ex-wife, filed an emergency restraining order against him on Monday.
Briles says he did not hit his son Sunday afternoon, although witnesses told police he did.
“I did nothing except jump in the water with my kid,” Briles told KTLA-TV Channel 5.
Deputies who took Briles into custody Sunday say he was combative and resisted arrest, and they believe he had been drinking.
When asked if he would have done it had he not been drinking, Briles said, “absolutely.”
Briles was charged with felony child endangerment and resisting arrest. He was released after posting bail.