CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A 9-year-old boy takes his dad on a beer run, and now his father is charged with child abuse.
According to the police report Joshua Fagan thought he was playing it safe. He says he was too drunk to drive and that's why he let his young son take the wheel instead.
REPORTER: "Hey are you Josh?"
FAGAN: "Yes ma'am."
WINK News tried to get Joshua Fagan's version of events that led to his arrest.
REPORTER: "We have this police report. Would you care to comment on the safety of your son?"
FAGAN: shut the door to his home without comment.
Fagan is facing child abuse charges for letting his son make a beer run. On Thanksgiving eve Fagan and a friend went out for a buzz instead of a bird.
A Cape Coral police officer ended the joy ride after he saw the truck crossing over its lane and back into the median on Wilmington Parkway. When he pulled the truck over, he noticed a 9-year-old behind the wheel. They were three blocks from home.
The report doesn't say whether the three made it to a liquor store, but an officer discovered an open case of beer in the truck's backseat.
Fagan told the officer he "didn't do anything wrong."
Caught with slurred speech and swaying while he stood, Fagan was arrested for endangering his son.
When Pat Altmann heard the news, he was shocked. "That's just crazy and not being a parent; just a stupid idea," Altmann says. "I got a 9-year-old, and I wouldn't let her drive."
We told Fagan's neighbors about the beer run.
REPORTER: "According to this police report, he tried to get out of the truck and was caught with an open case."
LESLIE GOWER: "Oh dear God."
Jim and Leslie Gower say Josh Fagan is a good father. "They go camping, they go fishing, they love each other," Leslie Gower says. "I know he's a good father, but he's probably stressed," Jim Gower adds. "He lost his job in construction, his wife divorced him, and he takes care of two sons."
The couple says Fagan just made a bad decision.
"Whatever happened there (on this case) wouldn't happen continuously," Jim Gower says.
"He loves those boys to pieces," Leslie Gower says.
No one was hurt in the beer run joyride, but now the Department of Children and Families is investigating to make sure Fagan's son stays safe.
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