Father Finds Himself In Hot Water After His Son Skips Church

| by Jonathan Wolfe

A Blanchester, Ohio, man was arrested and lost his job over what he says is a completely bogus child-endangering charge.

The trouble started for father Jeffrey Williamson on a Sunday morning when the local church bus came to pick up his kids.

"My kids run in the house in the living room here and tell me, 'Hey, Dad, the church van is here. We're leaving. We're going on to church,'” Williamson told WCPO. "I said, 'OK.’"

Williamson was shocked to learn later that not all of his kids got on the bus. His 8-year-old son, Justin, decided to roam around the neighborhood instead. Shortly after, Justin was found at a dollar store about half a mile away from his home. A store employee called police, who came and escorted the boy back to his house. It was then that Williamson was placed under arrest.

"The next thing you know, [the officer] comes up to me and he says, 'You're under arrest,’” Williamson said. “My kids start crying their eyes out wondering why I'm getting arrested.”

Williamson was charged with child endangering. A story about the arrest was run on the front page of the local paper, and Williamson lost his job at McDonald's in the following days.

“It’s ridiculous to me that I was arrested for this,” Williamson said. “He just wanted to play in the neighborhood.”

Williamson is due in court on July 15 for a hearing. If convicted, he could spend up to six months in prison.