BLANCHESTER, Ohio - Residents are debating whether a father should be charged with child endangering after his 8-year-old son skipped church to play.
"It's ridiculous to me that I was arrested for this," Jeffrey Williamson told WCPO.
He said he lost his job when the story appeared in the local paper.
It also could put him in jail for six months.
The trouble started when a bus from the Woodville Baptist Church came to pick up 8-year-old Justin and his siblings, Williamson said.
"My kids run in the house in the living room here and tell me, 'Hey, Dad, the church van's here. We're leaving. We're going on to church,' " Williamson said.
"I said, 'OK.' "
Williamson said he didn't know Justin didn't get on the bus.
"He just wanted to go play in the neighborhood," he said.
Justin ended up at the Family Dollar store on busy Route 28 about a half mile from home.
Blanchester police were called. They say Justin didn't know where he lived, and it was only after talking to a customer that they learned his address.
"That's definitely totally, totally untrue," Justin's father said. "He knows his way around this whole neighborhood right here."
Williamson said Blanchester police showed up at his door with Justin.
"I told the cop he goes out in the neighborhood and plays every day with all the other kids," Williamson said. "There's a million kids around here that play. I know the parents. The parents know me."
The officer was still at the Williamson house when the church van dropped off the other Williamson children.
"The next thing you know, he comes up to me and he says, 'You're under arrest.' My kids start crying their eyes out wondering why I'm getting arrested," Williamson said.
Williamson lost his job at McDonald's after the story was on the front page of the paper.
He has found other work, but the experience left a bad taste in his mouth and gave his kids a lasting impression.
"Every time that we leave in our car or drive down the street or something like that, every time they see a cop in Blanchester, they freak out and say, 'Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, are they going to arrest you?' " he said.
Blanchester police chief Scott Reinbolt is on vacation and wasn't available to talk for this story.
Justin was grounded.
His father is due in Clinton County Municipal Court on July 15.
New program inspires young entrepreneurs
As Indianapolis prepares to host the National Association of Women Business Owners conference next week, a group of next-generation…
Police believe body is missing Dunkirk woman
Police were investigating after human remains were found in Jay County on Monday.
Irsay pleads guilty to misdemeanor OWI charge
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was suspended six games and fined $500,000 by the NFL after he pleaded guilty to one OWI misdemeanor charge.
Family: Girl 'actually had a heart and cared'
The family of a slain 15-year-old girl found burned over the weekend spoke out Tuesday, urging everyone to keep an eye on their loved ones,…
Search for missing baby moves to creek
Police have explored a creek for clues in the disappearance of a 6-week-old Indianapolis boy hours after they finished searching his family's home.
Man caught on video sifting through fire truck
Wayne Township firefighters asked the public to be on alert after a man was caught on camera sifting through items in a fire truck last Friday.