UPDATE, SEPT. 14, 11:07 A.M.: The Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) today charged Irvine father Sloane Briles with a felony for allegedly tossing his 7-year-old son off a Newport Harbor tour boat in a fit of anger.
Briles, 35, faces a felony child abuse and endangerment count, a misdemeanor resisting an officer count and, if convicted of those, up to six years in state prison.
Currently out of custody on $100,000 bail, Briles has a scheduled arraignment hearing on Sept. 26 in Newport Beach.
Briles has said he and his son were playing a game and that he jumped in after the boy in the harbor's “shallows.” But, according to the OCDA, he is accused of: repeatedly slapping the 7-year-old in the face; throwing the boy 10 feet over the side of the boat into a heavily trafficked area; jumping into the water only to avoid angry passengers on his boat; and making no attempts to save his crying son.
The OCDA recap of the incident below also details how an allegedly intoxicated Briles supposedly tried to resist arrest:
At approximately 1:00 p.m. on Aug. 28, 2011, Briles is accused of being
on a Newport Beach harbor cruise aboard the Queen with his girlfriend
and two young sons from a prior marriage. The defendant is accused of
being under the influence of alcohol and poking his 7-year-old son in
the chest. He is accused of repeatedly slapping his son in the face,
making him cry and ask the defendant to stop because the defendant was
Briles is accused of then picking up the little boy and throwing him
approximately 10 feet over the side of the boat. At that time, the Queen
was in a busy boating area with a large amount of boat traffic, so the
first mate stalled the boat and maneuvered it to protect the child from
being struck by another vessel. The captain threw the crying child, who
was treading water, a life ring.
Briles is accused of then jumping into the water to avoid the angry
passengers on the
Queen who began to yell at him. He is accused of
making no attempt to swim to his son's aid. Another boat helped the
child out of the water, but the crew of the Queen asked the other boat
not to help Briles, who was eventually pulled back onto the Queen.
When contacted by deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Department
(OCSD), who patrol the harbor, Briles is accused of ignoring the
deputies orders to stand, struggling with them as they attempted to help
him to his feet, and making his body go limp to make it difficult as
deputies tried to remove him from the boat. Briles had to be dragged
Queen to the OCSD Harbor Patrol boat.
As the Weekly reports below, Irvine Police arrested Briles on suspicion of felony domestic abuse five days after the boat incident.
ORIGINAL POST, SEPT. 6, 10:11 A.M.: Sloane Briles, the Irvine father accused of tossing his
7-year-old son off a Newport Harbor tour boat in a fit of anger, has
been arrested in a separate incident for felony domestic abuse,
according to Irvine Police.
Briles, 35, was arrested after police
received a call around 8:10 p.m. Friday to come to a residence on
Strawberry in Irvine, confirmed police Lt. Julia Engen, the department spokeswoman.
Due to laws protecting the identities of domestic-violence victims, Engen said she could not divulge the name of the person Briles is alleged to have attacked.
Briles was arrested Sunday afternoon, Aug. 28, on suspicion of child endangerment and resisting arrest for the incident involving the Balboa Pavilion Queen tour boat. Witnesses told Orange County Sheriff's Department Harbor Patrol officers that an inebriated Briles had been arguing with his girlfriend when his angered son followed him to the front of the boat. That's when Briles is accused of hitting his child and tossing him into the heavily trafficked harbor.
- [UPDATED with Dad Speaks VIDEO:] Sloane Briles Hit 7-Year-Old Son on Tour Boat and Tossed Boy Overboard: Deputies
The suspect later told the media it was all a huge misunderstanding, that he and his son were goofing off, that he tossed his boy into the “shallows” and that the father quickly jumped in after him. The 7-year-old was rescued by other boaters before his father could get to him.
Briles' ex-wife later told the media it was not a joke.