Vero Beach Man Facing Child Abuse After Driving Drunk With Son

A 21-year-old man was arrested for DUI and is facing child abuse charges are crashing his car with his 2-year-old son inside.
A 21-year-old man was arrested for DUI and is facing child abuse charges are crashing his car with his 2-year-old son inside. (Photo: Indian River County Sheriff's Office)

VERO BEACH – The Vero Beach Police Department received a call about an accident in which a vehicle hit a city pole Saturday night.

Upon arrival, officers were flagged down by a witness who said he heard a loud crash and saw a Mercury 4-door vehicle crashed into the pole.

The witness then said he noticed that the driver seemed impaired and there was a child in the backseat, so he notified the Vero Beach Police Department.

The driver was identified as 21-year-old Christopher Patrick O’Brien, who kept asking police if they could call him a cab so that he could take his son home.

Another witness said he saw O’Brien take off at a high rate of speed from the light at Royal Palm Pt. and Indian River Blvd. As the vehicle was approaching the light at 21st Street, he saw O’Brien make a hard right turn, striking a cement divider. The vehicle then became airborne before striking a city crosswalk pole.

Police found out that O’Brien’s Florida driver’s license was suspended indefinitely on July 3, 2017, and then canceled indefinitely on September 18, 2017.

“O’Brien made several statements such as, can you call me a cab and give me all the fines so I can go home with my son,” the officer said.

According to the report, O’Brien also told the officers that he was drunk and knew he was going to be arrested.

O’Brien admitted to drinking two shots of Tito’s Vodka at Mulligan’s Restaurant with his son present.

After failing the field sobriety tests, the officer arrested O’Brien for DUI with Property Damage, Driving Without a License, Operating an Unregistered Vehicle, and Child Abuse.

O’Brien also had an active warrant out of St. Lucie County.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he began his career in radio and TV broadcasting for over 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Indian River County in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily in 2016 as our editor in chief.