LLR Pages

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Michigan Man Arrested for Inadvertently Giving Alcoholic Beverage to His Seven-Year-Old Son

An Ann Arbor man, who took his 7-year-old son to see a Detroit Tigers game in Comerica Park in downtown Detroit, was questioned by a security guard. Why? Because the father inadvertently purchased a $7 Mike's Hard Lemonade bottle at a concession stand for his son who sipped it.

It wasn't until at the top of the ninth inning that the dad was stopped by the guard. The guard then went on to grab the bottle from the man at the same time the dad was trying to look at the bottle and the boy was taken away to the park's medical clinic. Within two days, the kid was taken into custody by the state and, within a week after he was arrested for purchasing the drink for his son, the father was allowed to move back into his home.

Although the boy was feeling ill and the state officials believed that the boy's nausea was caused by the drink (which actually contains 5 percent of alcohol in it), a blood test later revealed that there was no trace of alcohol in the boy's system.

Here's an excerpt of the article that will get everyone's blood boiling:

DETROIT (AP) — A son's thirst and a father's oversight at the ballpark turned an otherwise fun outing into an ordeal for one family.

Christopher Ratte of Ann Arbor recently took his 7-year-old son, Leo, to a Detroit Tigers game and stopped at a Comerica Park concession stand to buy him some lemonade. But it wasn't until the top of the ninth inning, when a security guard asked the University of Michigan classical archaeology professor about the bottle in his son's hand, that Ratte learned what puts the hard in Mike's Hard Lemonade.

'I'd never drunk it, never purchased it, never heard of it,' Christopher Ratte told Detroit Free Press columnist Brian Dickerson for a story published Monday.

Ratte said he told the guard he had no idea that the $7 lemonade contained alcohol. But when he tried to look at the bottle, the security guard snatched it — and his son was taken to a ballpark's medical clinic. The mistake three weeks ago began a two-day stay for Leo in state custody and nearly a week before his father would be able to move back into his home.

Leo was taken by ambulance to Detroit's Children Hospital because clinic officials said he reported feeling a little nauseated after drinking about 12 ounces of the drink with a 5 percent alcohol content. But a blood sample taken at the hospital detected no trace of it.

Ratte said the workers from the state's Child Protective Services unit told him that day the intervention was unnecessary but they were just following orders.

Child protection officials cannot by law discuss a specific investigation. But Mike Patterson, Child and Family Services director for the Wayne County district that includes Comerica Park, said his agency's discretion is limited once police obtain a court order to remove a child from the home.

The boy will most likely be traumatized after being separated from his father, who merely committed an innocent mistake which led to this monstruous mess.