Two Florida grandparents might not be having much alone time with their grandchild after landing themselves behind bars following a joyride they took their granddaughter on.
Paul J. Berloni, 49, and Belinda Jean Berloni, 47, were babysitting their 7-year-old granddaughter when they decided to latch two dog leashes and tie one end onto the trailer hitch of the SUV and the other to a plastic toy car resembling a Power Wheels. The couple then had their granddaughter hop inside, wearing only her bathing suit and no protective gear or helmet, and they drove her around at approximate 5 to 10 mph.
Paul drove the SUV while Belinda sat in the cargo area and cheered the girl on.
Someone who witnessed the incident called to report it and after police arrived Paul admitted he had been drinking and that his driver’s license was suspended and had been for 10 years. He has three previous DUIs, reports the Sarasota Herald Tribune.
According to the arrest report, Belinda admitted she had also been drinking and “that she understood that it was dangerous to drag a child behind the vehicle, but stated they were just having fun and had been doing this all day.”
The girl’s father was called to the scene, and when he arrived he was very upset when he found out what had happened. WSTP News 10 reports that he said to his mother, Belinda, “Are you f—ing stupid? You should know better!”
The girl’s father told police he believes both Belinda and Paul have drinking problems.
Paul was charged with a DUI, driving with a suspended license and child neglect/endangerment. Belinda was charged with child neglect/endangerment.
Sources: Sarasota Herald-Tribune, WTSP News 10, Miami New Times