2-year-old found double-fisting Mike's Hard Lemonades - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Father charged after 2-year-old found double-fisting Mike's Hard Lemonades

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HASTINGS, Minn. (KMSP) -

Hastings police found one 2-year-old boy without socks or shoes -- but holding two bottles of Mike's Hard Lemonade -- wandering a Hastings neighborhood Sunday afternoon.

His father, Robert Rassett, was charged Tuesday with one count of child neglect and one count of child endangerment. He remains in the Dakota County Jail on $6,000 bail.

Hastings police arrived to find the child holding the bottles, one open and one closed, after receiving a call at about 3 p.m. reporting that a child was in the middle of the road near the intersection of 15th and Florence streets.

"The sun was out at that time, but can you imagine standing bare feet, two years old on that blacktop?" asked Hilton Fiedler, who found the boy and called police.

Fiedler told FOX 9 News he was taking a shortcut through downtown Hastings on his way to Dairy Queen when he found the toddler standing in the middle of a busy street, clutching the two bottles.

"He didn't move a step," Fiedler recalled. "He just stood right there all the while until my wife got out and went to him."

The couple from Prescott, Wis., knocked on a few doors but couldn't figure out where the boy had come from.

"Nobody could get a word out of him, you know?" Fiedler said. "Who he was or who his parents were -- any names at all."

Hastings police officers also canvassed the neighborhood, eventually using an automatic calling system to notify every home within a one-mile radius without success. 

"We have these types of things happen periodically where a child will sneak out the back door or whatever and be gone," said Hastings Police Chief Paul Schnell. "What was unusual about this one was the length of several hours passed."

Two and a half hours after the boy was found, 42-year-old Robert Rassett called police to say his son was missing.

"You would expect a parent to say, 'Thank God my child is OK,'" Schnell told FOX 9 News. "That was not the response that officers got."

Instead, when police arrived, they found Rassett intoxicated and uncooperative. He also denied having consumed any alcohol that day and said that he hadn't had any in two years.

"Officers got, 'Well, it happens,' and 'just give me my child back' and 'don't be concerned about any of the other things,'" Schnell said. "Obviously, seeing a 2-year-old barefoot in the middle of a relatively busy city street holding two bottles of Mike's Hard Lemonade is a concerning picture."

Police placed Rassett under arrest and transported him to the Dakota County Jail.

Court records show Rassett has three prior arrests on drunken driving charges.

While there is no sign the 2-year-old consumed any of the liquor, a report has been filed with Child Protection. The boy has since been returned to his mother, who does not live with Rassett. FOX 9 News confirmed that the boy's mother had dropped him off with Rassett earlier in the day. She said Rassett usually only has supervised access to the child, according to a criminal complaint.

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