Man Arrested for Throwing Son Overboard Off Tour Boat

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A man with a history of public intoxication is accused of throwing his 7-year-old son overboard from a tour boat in Newport Harbor on Sunday after allegedly striking the boy several times.

Sloane Briles

Sloane Briles, 35, was arrested around 2 p.m. after witnesses, including the approximately 85 passengers also on board the Pavilion Queen tour boat, saw him hit his son several times and then toss him off of the moving boat, said Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino.

Several people from nearby boats jumped into the water to rescue the boy, who was only a fair swimmer, Amormino said.

“He was plucked from the ocean very quickly,” he said.

It was a hot summer day and there were a lot of people out, Amormino said. He is lucky he was picked up quickly, Amormino added, as the area was crowded and the boy could have been run over by a boat.

The boy’s father also jumped in, Amormino said, but the boy had already been pulled from the water. The boy was shaken up but otherwise OK, Amormino added.

The incident began when Briles, who was on the tour with his girlfriend, the 7-year-old and his 6-year-old son, got into a verbal argument with his girlfriend. The 7-year-old boy got upset and followed his father as he walked to the front of the boat.

“[Briles] said if he didn’t stop crying he would throw him overboard,” Amormino said.

Briles hit him several times and the boy continued to cry. Briles then tossed his son into the water.

The people on the tour boat were shocked and angry, Amormino said.

After jumping into the water, Briles then climbed back onboard the Pavilion Queen. The Harbor Patrol responded within three minutes, Amormino said, and Briles became combative and resisted arrest by the sheriff’s deputies. One deputy sustained minor injuries, Amormino said.

Authorities believe Briles had been drinking. He has two prior arrests for public intoxication, in 2007 and 2010. Briles was booked on suspicion of child endangerment and resisting arrest. He was released Monday morning after posting bail.

The boy was released to his natural mother.

Read the updated story here.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I am horrified at what this man did to an innocent child. Please, please, please follow this story up, I need to know that justice is served in this case; I assume there is a pending trial. I hope this man gets brutally punished for causing what will doubtless be a lifetime of PTSD to the boy.