Crime & Public Safety

Terrified kids hide in a SC gas station bathroom. Cops arrest drunken dad

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As his terrified children huddled in a gas station bathroom, a Bluffton father was charged with drunken driving and child endangerment Saturday, after the elementary school-aged kids told police he was smoking marijuana and “driving crazy,” according to a Bluffton Police Department report.

A clerk at the Parker’s Gas Station on Buckwalter Parkway called 911 about 7:45 p.m. after hearing the kids crying in the bathroom, the report said.

The man had parked his silver Toyota 4Runner across two parking spaces, the report said. Officers detected a strong odor of alcohol and said the man was slurring his words and had trouble standing, according to the report. The man told them he had driven to the store for a Mountain Dew, had not consumed any alcohol and did not know why his kids were hiding from him in the bathroom, the report said.

The kids, ages 9 and 11, told police their dad was taking them to a movie when he started “driving crazy” and “struck a golf cart” in Cypress Ridge and the white barriers at the intersection of Okatie Highway and Bluffton Parkway, the report said. They also said their dad was “possibly smoking pot” while driving.

The man failed sobriety tests and was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, child endangerment and open container, the report said.