Five days after being convicted of drunken driving, an intoxicated dad put his 1-year-old behind the wheel and allowed the boy to steer his SUV in downtown Hopkins, according to charges.
Domonic E. Green, 31, of Hopkins, an unlicensed motorist, was charged Monday in Hennepin County District Court with child endangerment and drunken driving in connection with the incident Saturday night. Green remains jailed in lieu of $20,000 bail ahead of an Aug. 9 court date.
One witness “reported [that] when Green drove by, he was telling the child which way to turn the vehicle [right or left],” read a statement from the Hopkins Police Department. “Thanks to an alert citizen notifying police to report this incident, a tragedy may have been avoided.”
A police officer “located the vehicle almost immediately and saw the child on the driver’s lap” and a car seat in back, the statement continued. The boy was turned over to another family member, police said.
According to the criminal complaint:
A witness alerted police that a man in an SUV was “allowing his child to drive,” the complaint read. Officers stopped the vehicle near Mainstreet and 5th Avenue N.
Officers saw that Green’s eyes were bloodshot and watery, his speech slurred and movements “clumsy,” the court filing noted. An open tequila bottle was on the passenger seat, and a red plastic cup was in a cup holder. Green told police the bottle was not his.
Police told him the boy should have been in a car seat, and Green replied that he was just going around the block. Green lives less than a block from where the SUV was pulled over.
Asked how much he had to drink that day, Green replied, “I’m not even circumference [sic] to do that.” He was then arrested.
Police did not reveal the boy’s name or precise age. State birth records list Green as being the father of a boy born 15 months ago.
Green, who has never had a valid license in Minnesota, pleaded guilty on July 2 to driving drunk on Jan. 20. His record also includes a careless driving conviction stemming from a Dec. 30 police stop. In that case, prosecutors agreed to dismiss counts of drunken driving, speeding and driving without a license.