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Man who tossed son off harbor cruise heads to veterans court

November 29, 2011 | 12:49 pm


The case against an Irvine man accused of throwing his son off a boat during a cruise around Newport Harbor will be moved to a courtroom that works with military veterans suffering from conditions related to combat, prosecutors said Monday.

Sloan Steven Briles, 35, is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 6 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, where courtroom staff will evaluate his eligibility for its veterans program geared toward combat veterans who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism or drug addiction or other long-term issues.

Briles is charged with felony child endangerment and misdemeanor resisting police, the Daily Pilot reported. He faces up to six years in prison.

According to police, on Aug. 28, Briles, his 7-year-old son, another son and his girlfriend were on a cruise through the harbor when he threw the 7-year-old off the boat after the boy started crying. Briles had been poking his son in the chest and slapping him before throwing him off the boat, prosecutors allege.

Courtroom staff will evaluate if he's suitable for the program, said Deputy District Attorney Cyril Yu. Briles could be entered into the program either in lieu of, or in conjunction with, a jail sentence, Yu said.

In an interview a few days after the harbor incident, Briles told KTLA-TV Channel 5 he did nothing wrong and "we were having fun, it was a harbor cruise!"

"I did nothing except jump in the water with my kid," Briles told the TV station.


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-- Joseph Serna, Times Community News