A Tulsa, Okla., man was arrested for public intoxication and child endangerment after riding a horse with a child. The man didn’t know whom the boy belonged to, according to police.
Dennis Byers took the three-year-old boy for a ride on the horse, got drunk, but then didn’t know where to return the child.
Corporal Greg Smith said Byers originally met with Tim Smith, who wanted to buy a horse for his three-year-old son.
“The horse owner was going to ride over to the child’s house and let the child ride with him with the father following,” Corporal Smith told News on 6.
But when the father got a last minute call from work, he stopped following Byers and his son. Almost five hours later, police received a call about a drunken man riding a horse with a child.
Authorities said Byers started knocking on doors and asking if anyone knew who the toddler was.
“He was trying to leave the child at various houses,” Corporal Smith said. “He didn’t know where the people were. He didn’t know where the child belonged and obviously he wasn’t properly supervising the child.”
Investigators eventually figured out where the father lived thanks to tips from people.
“[He] didn’t know where his child was for four or five hours, or who he was with, or how to get in touch with anyone. That seems a little dangerous for the child,” Corporal Smith said.
“I guess I made a big mistake,” the father told KJHR. “I love him with all my heart, all I was trying to do was make up for his [Christmas] presents and give him a horse.”
The boy is how in DHS custody as investigators determine if his house is a safe environment. Tim Smith said he is hopeful his son will be returned to him.
An arrest report indicates Byers was booked into the Tulsa County jail for public intoxication and child neglect. His bond was set to $50,100 and he is set to appear in court Jan. 28.
Sources: News on 6, KJHR