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Man threw 7-year-old son overboard for crying, authorities say

August 30, 2011

Two Orange County boys were in the custody of their mother Tuesday after their father was accused of throwing his 7-year-old son overboard from a boat after the boy would not stop crying, authorities said.

Sloane Briles, 35, of Irvine was booked on suspicion of child endangerment and resisting arrest. He was released Monday after posting bail.

Briles and his girlfriend were aboard the tour boat Queen on a cruise of Newport Harbor just before 2 p.m. Sunday when the couple got into an argument in front of his 6- and 7-year-old sons from a previous marriage, said Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.

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When the 7-year-old became upset Briles hit him several times, shocking and angering some of the tour boat's 85 passengers. Witnesses said Briles told his son that if he didn't stop crying, he would throw him overboard.

He then picked up the boy and tossed him over the front of the boat while it was moving, said Amormino, who described the boy as "a fair swimmer at best."

Briles appeared to have been drinking, Amormino said.

The father put the boy at risk of drowning, being run over by the boat or being hit by another vessel in the busy harbor, which was filled with boaters on the hot Sunday afternoon, Amormino said.

Luckily, three boats quickly came to the boy's aid and he was pulled from the water. Briles also jumped in to retrieve the boy, but he had already been rescued.

Briles became combative and resisted arrest when sheriff's deputies boarded the boat to take him into custody, authorities said. One deputy suffered minor injuries while wrestling him to the ground.

Authorities released the boys to their mother. Briles and his ex-wife divorced in 2007 after having two children.

Briles pleaded guilty in January to a misdemeanor for public intoxication last August, court records show.

— From Latimes.com

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