Man charged with child endangerment after son skips church to play

After an 8-year-old boy skipped the weekly church bus to play in the streets near his home, police took his father into custody and charged the man with child endangerment.

Jeffrey Williamson, of Blanchester, Ohio, says that the charge--which cost him his job and could see him jailed for six months--was ridiculous.

"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 told WCPO. "I said, 'OK.'"

But his son, Justin Williamson, decided not to follow his siblings into the vehicle, sent by Woodville Baptist Church to pick up churchgoers each week. It left the child behind, who played in the streets near his home until entering a dollar store just blocks from his home. Someone called police, who took the child home and placed his father under arrest.

The officers claimed, according to reports, that the boy didn't know where he lived and was lost. Justin's father says that's nonsense: "I told the cop he goes out in the neighborhood and plays every day with all the other kids. There's a million kids around here that play. I know the parents. The parents know me."

Williamson plans to fight the charge, reports ABC WXYZ, and will appear in court July 15.