The man who is accused of throwing his seven-year-old son overboard while on a boat tour with 80 passengers watching is continuing to defend his side of the story. When Sloane Briles was interviewed by KTLA on Tuesday, he noted that he was “not trying to kill [his son].” Instead, he insists that they “were playing in the shallows.”
In addition, he claimed that he and his son discussed together prior to the boat tour that they would jump overboard. However, that is not what witnesses that saw the events unfold are claiming.
One witness told a 911 Orlando County sheriff’s dispatcher the following: “I’m on a boat tour called the Queen and there’s a man who just threw his son overboard,” a woman was quoted saying. Another 911 caller said that Briles was being “drunk and violent.”
Witnesses say that the California father, 35, was allegedly arguing with his girlfriend when his seven-year-old son started crying, and Briles told him to stop. It was then that Briles reportedly threatened to throw his son overboard. After his son continued to cry, Briles made good on his threat and threw him over the boat and into the water.
A spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s department say that people on three nearby boats saw the boy being thrown overboard and that they rushed to save the boy. Briles, who was apparently intoxicated, then jumped into the water to try and save him as well. The seven-year-old was startled, but not injured after he was saved by a nearby boat.
Briles was later arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and trying to resist the arrest. He was released on Monday after posting bond.
His girlfriend, Jennifer Burrelli, defended his actions in an interview with the New York Daily News, denying that she and her boyfriend had an argument and said that her boyfriend and his son were only “roughhousing” and that he made a “stupid” judgment to throw him overboard, which is a different story than what Briles is now claiming.
“His sons are his whole life,” she said. “He would never ever do anything to hurt them on purpose. He knows now it could have gone badly. He doesn’t even care about the arrest or his own name. He knows it was stupid.”
The boy’s biological mother, Christin Briles — who wasn’t on the boat tour at the time — is now thanking eyewitnesses who called police. In a statement on Wednesday, she says that she believes the story of witnesses and her son.