A Hastings man is facing jail time after his toddler son was found wandering down the middle of a street barefoot holding two bottles of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, one opened and the other sealed.

Robert Rassett, 42, was charged with neglect and child endangerment on Tuesday. Police found him apparently intoxicated two hours after the 23-month-old child was discovered about 3 p.m. Sunday, according to a complaint filed in Dakota County District Court. The child did not appear harmed.

Two people visiting from Prescott, Wis., saw the boy in the street, said Police Chief Paul Schell. Police canvassed the area and used an automated dialing system, but could not find his parents, he said. The boy was about to be placed in temporary foster care when Rassett contacted police looking for his son.

When police arrived at Rassett’s home, Schnell said, he was uncooperative and appeared intoxicated.

The child’s mother, who does not live with Rassett, told police that his visits with the child are usually supervised, the complaint said. She knew he had been drinking that morning, she told police, but left the child there anyway. According to Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom, the boy is now in his mother’s custody, and she is not expected to be charged.

If convicted, Rassett faces up to a year in jail on each charge. He remained jailed on Tuesday; bail was set at $6,000 without conditions or $3,000 with conditions.


Tony Wagner is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.