Deputies: Drunk grandparents tow child in toy car

2:38 PM, Apr 30, 2012   |    comments
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Sarasota, Florida -- A grandmother and grandfather are facing numerous charges for towing a toy plastic car from behind their SUV... with their grandchild seated inside.

According to the arrest report, a Sarasota deputy on patrol spotted the SUV on Sunday, pulling a small plastic Hot Wheels car with the 7-year-old girl inside.  The toy car was connected to the SUV with dog leashes tied to the trailer hitch.

Photo Gallery: Pictures of the toy car attached to the SUV

The vehicle was traveling about five to 10 miles per hour, and a woman was riding in the rear with the hatch open, cheering the child on.  The little girl had on a bathing suit, and no protective gear.

The deputy immediately pulled the vehicle over, and in the arrest report states the driver of the SUV, 49-year-old Paul Berloni, had a strong smell of alcohol on him.

Berloni told the deputy his drivers license had been suspended for 10 years for DUI and at first said he had only two or three drinks. He later allegedly told the deputy he drank more, but wouldn't say how much.

Berloni refused to take a field sobriety test and was placed into custody.

The woman riding in back, 47-year-old Belinda Berloni, was also reportedly intoxicated and told the deputy that while she knew it was dangerous to drag the toy car, they were "just having fun and had been doing this all day."

The child's father was called to the scene and was reportedly became very upset when he learned what happened.  He reportedly said to his mother, Belinda, "Are you f---ing stupid? You should know better!"

The father told investigators he believed both grandparents have a drinking problem. Paul Berloni was charged with DUI, driving while license suspended and child neglect/endangerment. His Belinda Berloni was charged with child neglect/endangerment.

Investigators say the child was unharmed in the incident.



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