WATCH: Man Explains Why He Threw His Son Overboard
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A man accused of throwing his 7-year-old son overboard during a sightseeing cruise around California's Newport Harbor says he and the boy were just "horse playing" and talked about jumping in the water together.
"I was not trying to kill my son. We were playing in the shallows," Sloane Briles told KTLA-TV on Tuesday. "I discussed it with him. We'd jump in together and just thought it would be funny, ha ha."
Two of 85 people who were on the Sunday afternoon tour saw things differently. In 911 tapes released Tuesday, the passengers expressed shock and disgust after seeing Briles toss the boy into the water.
"I'm on a boat tour called the Queen and there's a man who just threw his son overboard," a woman told an Orange County sheriff's dispatcher.
"This man has been bad on our whole trip and he's swimming back to our boat now," she said.
Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said Briles, 35, was on the tour with his girlfriend and two sons from a previous marriage. Amormino said they got into an argument and Briles threatened to toss the boy into the water if he didn't stop crying.
Staff members on the 42-foot boat said Briles told the boy he needed to toughen up then threw him into the water five feet below, said Charlie Maas, who oversees the tour company.
Someone on the boat threw the boy a life ring, and he was safely rescued, uninjured, by another boater. The father also jumped in to save him before swimming back to the tour boat.
Another 911 caller said she thought Briles was "drunk and violent."
Briles was taken into custody for child endangerment and resisting arrest. He denied witnesses' accounts that the boy was crying and said he had never hit his son. >>>CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO
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