Motorist Swigged Whiskey With Child in Backseat, Police Say
Newark man arrested at Funplex in East Hanover.
Police received reports at headquarters of a man driving along Route 10 while drinking a bottle of whiskey with a child in the back seat. When they located the car, an older model silver Hyundai Sonata, at the Funplex in East Hanover, patrols saw an empty bottle of Jack Daniel's on the passenger side floor, according to a report by Officer Michael T. Liotta.
As police looked at the car, a witness approached police and said he saw the driver of the vehicle drinking from the whiskey bottle. The witness gave police a written statement, Liotta said.
Police located the car's driver, Jose Garcia, Jr., inside the pool. Garcia, 33, of Newark told police he drove to the pool with his wife and daughter from their home. Liotta said Garcia admitted to drinking from the bottle of whiskey, but not while driving: "He would only drink from the bottle while stopped at a red light," Liotta said.
Garcia gave verbal and written consent to retrieve the bottle and stood by the car while police opened the vehicle to grab the bottle, Liotta said. Garcia admitted he drove the car while drinking from the whiskey bottle with his daughter improperly secured in the backseat without a seatbelt, Liotta said.
Garcia was placed under arrest on charges of neglect of a child, failure to use a child restraint, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle and driving while suspended. He was processed at headquarters, released and transported back to Funplex, where he was picked up by another driver, Liotta said.
The whiskey bottle was submitted as evidence, and the Division of Youth and Family Services was contacted.