According to reports, Ernest McKnight III, 36, was accused of contributing to his 8-year-old son’s delinquency after making the young child tag along during a recent string of crimes. When questioned why he took his son with him, McKnight responded, “I was trying to toughen him up. … I don’t want him to be soft.” Authorities say McKnight brought the boy with him as he burglarized three unoccupied dwellings, stole a car, and made off with a package stolen from a porch.
“Taking a child out with you while you’re committing felonies is not the proper way to create a positive influence,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “I’m quite confident that there is not a child psychologist out there who would agree with this guy’s idea of proper activity for a child.”
To make matters worse, the arrest affidavit reveals that McKnight led deputies on a high-speed chase, maxing out at 120 MPH. It was only during this pursuit that the police learned that the young child was in the car.