This adventure started, not so surprisingly, at a liquor store yesterday — Belmont Beverage in Fort Wayne, Ind. Witnesses say they saw the car leave the parking lot with four children (ages 4-7), not just not secured in car seats (which would be bad enough), but instead strapped to the hood of the car…
Witness Tom Nowak told station INC: “With one of those straps you crank on a semi to hold down lumber, they were strapped with that thing, wiggling and wobbling down the street.”
I’m stunned; seriously stunned. The kids, of course, were all for it, and told the station that Aaron Stefanski (the father of three of the children) and Jessica Clark (who is mother of the fourth child) asked them if they wanted to do it, and they said, “yes, because it sounded like fun.”
Why these parents thought it would be fun or a good idea is anyone’s guess. I’m sure the alcohol didn’t help, but wow. The things that could have happened to these children are unimaginable.
Fortunately they’re fine as plenty of witnesses saw it happening (how could you miss such a spectacle?) and called the police before anyone got hurt. A U.S. Marshall pulled them over after a few blocks, and Stefanski was arrested. He’s been charged with Operating While Intoxicated and Neglect of a Dependent, which doesn’t sound nearly severe enough for something that could have killed four children.
Why am I not surprised? Having spent a brief – but truly stupid – portion of my youth investigating the result of drinking way too much of various alcoholic beverages, I recall some of the dumb things I did. Sometimes I wish I didn’t remember.