A New Jersey father got the scare of his life when his 5-year-old son almost ran off a steep embankment, and though the man saved the boy from falling, he couldn’t stop his Jeep from going over the precipice and into a river below.
The reward for his ordeal? Two traffic tickets from local police.
Frank Roders had taken his son, Aidan, down to the Rahway River to feed ducks Thursday. But when he stopped briefly before settling on a parking space, the impatient boy jumped out and took off — straight toward a ledge 35 feet above the river.
Roders turned in time to see the Jeep nosedive down the embankment and land in the muddy water.
A young cop approached him and handed him two tickets. One was for failure to produce the insurance card, which was somewhere in the waterlogged cab. The other was for failing to use his emergency brake.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Roder said. “He said, ‘If you would have taken the five seconds to apply the brake, this never would have happened!’
“I say, ‘Really? And if I did and my boy stepped over the edge and fell instead of the Jeep, then were would I be?’ He says, ‘Jail, for child endangerment.’”
Union County Police Chief Daniel Vaniska told FoxNews.com that his officers have some discretion about when and when not to write a ticket. But he said he just didn’t have enough information to second-guess what this officer did.
“It probably could have gone either way,” Vaniska said. “I can’t comment on the discretionary practices of an officer, but certainly, the fellow will have an opportunity to tell his story in court.”
Municipal Court is where Roder might get some sympathy — and maybe forbearance on those tickets, which are for $50 and $60. His date is May 30.
“I don’t care, I’ll pay it,” Roder said. “It’s just the principle. When something like that happens so fast, I could give a rat’s a– about the car.”