SANTA ANA (CBS) — The father who allegedly threw his son, 7, overboard during a boat tour in Newport Harbor this weekend is speaking out for the first time.
Sloane Briles said Tuesday that he didn’t slap his son or throw him off the boat in malice. He said they were playing around and that his son wanted to jump in the water and he jumped in after him.
“It didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary,” Briles said. “We were up to the key and him and I were screwing around and we just jumped out.
“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 said.
Briles’s girlfriend, who was also aboard the boat, said there was nothing abusive about his behavior and that if there had been passengers would have intervened.
“If there was striking going on prior to being thrown overboard don’t you think people would have came and like, ‘Put your hands behind your back,’ or like ‘citizen’s arrest’ you?” Jennifer Burrel asked Briles during the CBS2 interview.
911 tapes released Tuesday tell a different story.
Callers described Briles as “violent” and “drunk”. They say he was arguing with his girlfriend when he slapped his “crying” 7-year-old son and, then, threw him off the boat Sunday afternoon.
Briles jumped in after his son but three boaters had already come to his son’s aid.
Police arrested Briles on charges of child endangerment and resisting arrest.