By Steve Beck and Noel McLaren
UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — An intoxicated man said “he did nothing wrong” and was “only letting the kids go for a drive” when he allowed his eight-year-old nephew to steer a moving a car, investigators in Delaware County said.
Clarence W. Hairston, 58, is facing a laundry list of charges following his arrest in Upper Darby this past Saturday.
According to investigators, an officer with the Upper Darby Police Department spotted a blue Chevy Impala stopped in the middle of the road and blocking traffic near Guilford and Copley Roads.
Investigators said the vehicle then began to make a series of “stop and go” movements and almost struck a parked car.
Eventually, the car stopped and the officer approached the car and spotted Hairston in the driver’s seat with his eight-year-old nephew sitting on his lap. Police say Hairston was drinking a 25 ounce Bud Ice can.
Police say Hairston was operating the gas and brake pedals, while his eight-year-old nephew was controlling the steering wheel.
In addition, Hairston’s nine-year-old nephew was in the backseat of the car.
“I would have rather seen the kid take the car and drive away,” said Upper Darby Police Superintendent, Michael Chitwood.
When Hairston attempted to get out of the car, police say Hairston was holding the Bud Ice can and fell twice trying to get out. A second Bud Ice can was spotted by the officer in the center console.
Hairston got out of the car, continued drinking and according to a police affidavit, he was “unsteady on his feet,” had blood shot eyes, “slurred speech” and “stunk of an alcoholic beverage.”
According to the police affidavit, Hairston told the officer “he did nothing wrong” and “was only letting the kids go for a drive.”
Hairston claimed to be a Philadelphia cop and told the officer that “it’s not right to jam up another cop.”
Police apprehended Hairston when he parked in front of his home on Littlecroft Road.
A woman who calls herself Hairston’s fiancée said he would never put his nephews in danger.
“No, no, not like that,” she said.
Police say Hairston was supposed to be babysitting his nephews. Fortunately they were returned to their mother without a scratch.
“Not only could he have endangered those two children in the car who apparently were his nephews but he could have endangered an entire community,” said Chitwood.
Hairston is facing a long list of charges that include Driving Under The Influence, Endangering The Welfare Of A Child, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Permitting Unauthorized Person To Drive and Public Drunkenness.
He remains behind bars with a $15,000 cash bail.
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