Cops: New Hampshire Man Drove 40 Miles With Teen Son Inside Truck's Tool Box
A New Hampshire man is facing a child cruelty rap after allegedly putting his teenage son inside a tool box in his truck’s bed and then driving about 40 miles, according to police.
Investigators allege that Russell Johnson, 42, “went to pick up his three children with a single bench pick up,” and that one of the minors was “put in the tool box that spans the bed” of the vehicle.
Johnson then drove the truck from his ex-wife’s home in Springfield, Vermont to his Bradford, New Hampshire residence.
Pictured at right, Johnson last week was issued a criminal citation and ordered to appear for arraignment on January 8, according to a Springfield Police Department statement.
In an interview, Johnson acknowledged that his 17-year-old son “did end up in a tool box.” He added that it was the teen’s “choice” to ride in the tool box (since there was no room inside the truck’s cab) and that the 6’ 3” boy kept the cover ajar during the trip.
“I didn’t stuff him in there,” said Johnson, who noted that police only learned about the late-September trip after one of his teen daughters “ratted me out” to a state child welfare worker. The girl, he said, wants to live with her mother full-time and is angry with him over an earlier incident during which he slapped her for cursing.
Johnson, a farm manager, said that he only transported his children in the truck because his car had broken down. “It was a one-time thing,” he remarked.