9-Year-Old Boy Crashes Mini Van, Drunk Dad Arrested for Making Him the Designated Driver
Nathan Sikkenga was charged with child endangerment, but not for taking his son to Disney World
Florida has a knack of bringing out the best in people.
Take the Sikkenga family from Gillete, Wyoming. In all-American fashion, 31-year-old Nathan Sikkenga had driven his wife and 9-year-old son cross-country to see Disney World.
But the 'rents were on vacation too. And when they got sloshed, they handed the minivan keys to their kid -- who promptly crashed.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the prepubescent designated driver crashed into a security gate just before midnight on Saturday.
An Orange County Sheriff's deputy saw the minor's mishap and arrested his dad. The elder Sikkenga was charged with third-degree child endangerment, a felony.
It's not the first time parents have dumped unwanted responsibility on their kids here in Florida. In March, a Port St. Lucie woman was charged with child abuse after making her 10-year-old daughter the DD. The girl hit three cars and a house.
And in July, Apollo Beach resident Donald Leet was similarly charged after drinking wine and deciding to give his girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter "driving lessons."
"You are going to make me lose my job," Leet told deputies as they arrested him. "Why don't you arrest a rapist or murderer instead of me. You're an illiterate Southerner. You don't know anything. You only have a high school diploma. You're dumb."
To be fair, it's not just a Florida problem.
Earlier this month, cops pulled over a wood-paneled van in Detroit. When Detective Lt. Robert Grant looked inside the car, he found a 9-year-old girl sitting on top of child's booster seat. Her whiskey-breathed father was in the back.
"What did you stop me for?" the girl asked. "I was driving good."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.
- Florida Might Remove Confederate Flag From State Senate Seal
Thu., Oct. 15, 7:00pm
Thu., Oct. 15, 7:30pm
Sat., Oct. 17, 12:00am
Sat., Oct. 17, 10:00am
- First Speaker of the House From Florida? Rep. Dan Webster Considered Dark-Horse Candidate
- Local Entrepreneurs Create New, College-Only Social Network