Dad Accidentally Gives His Boy Alcohol, State Graciously Spares Him the Firing Squad

Detroit, MI–“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.

“An assistant state attorney general said the state had no interest in aggressively pursuing the case, so a juvenile referee on April 7 agreed to release Leo to his mother as long as his father relocated to a hotel. Three days later, the complaint was dismissed and Christopher Ratte was allowed to go home…”

This dad could/should have been smarter, but I hardly see why this calls for a big Child Protective Services action, complete with seizing the kid for two days and booting the father out of the home for a week. Were he a divorced dad, God knows how long it would be before he’d be able to see his son again…

The full story is Ann Arbor man gives 7-year-old son alcoholic beverage during Tigers game–thanks to Lloyd, a reader, for sending it.

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