Father of toddler found in street with alcohol charged

8:30 AM, Apr 10, 2013   |    comments
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HASTINGS, Minn. - A Hastings man has been charged with child neglect and endangerment after his 2-year-old son was found alone in the street with an alcoholic beverage.

Robert Rassett, age 42, was charged in Dakota County Tuesday afternoon.

Hastings Police were called to a neighborhood on 15th Street Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. after the toddler was found wandering shoeless in the middle of the street, with a bottle of Mike's Hard Lemonade in each hand.

Responding officers were unable to find the child's parents, and he was taken into protective custody.

Two hours later police received a call informing them that Rassett was searching for his son. Police learned the identity of the boy's mother and were able to reunite her and the boy. The woman told them she left the child with Rassett despite the fact she knew he had a drinking problem. She knew he had been consuming alcohol that morning but did not believe he was intoxicated.

When officers located Rassett he smelled strongly of alcohol, and did not even inquire about the status of his son. He denied drinking despite the odor, and claimed he had not had a drink in two years.

If found guilty Roibert Rassett faces a year in prison on each of two criminal counts.

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