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Grandparents Paul and Belinda Berloni Arrested For Towing 7-Year-Old In Toy Car Behind SUV (PHOTOS)

Posted: 04/30/2012 6:50 pm Updated: 05/09/2012 2:27 pm

Kids may be more safe driving with grandparents than mom or dad, but there's an exception to every story: an allegedly intoxicated Florida pair was arrested Sunday for towing their 7-year-old granddaughter in a toy car behind their SUV.

Paul and Belinda Berloni admitted they'd been drinking before using 2 dog leashes to hook the small plastic car to their trailer hitch, according to the arrest report by a Sarasota County Sheriff's Office deputy.

The deputy spotted the girl being towed up a paved access road while Belinda Berloni cheered her on from the SUV's cargo area. Despite being separated from six lanes of traffic by only a sidewalk, the girl was not wearing a helmet and clad in just a bathing suit.

The deputy "immediately" smelled alcohol coming from Paul Berloni, whose license had been revoked after 3 previous DUI convictions.

His wife reportedly told police she understood the activity was dangerous, but "they were just having fun and had been doing this all day.”

Son Justin Oetting was unamused when he arrived to pick up his daughter, who was unharmed. "Are you f-----g stupid? You should know better," he said to his mother before telling the deputy he thought the pair had a drinking problem.

The Berlonis were each charged with one count of child endangerment, and Paul Berloni is being held on additional charges of driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.

PHOTOS from the arrest scene:

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  • Toy Car Behind Vehicle

  • Toy Car Behind Vehicle

  • Belinda Berloni

  • Paul Berloni

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Filed by Christiana Lilly  |