DOCUMENT: Stupid, Crime

Cops: Mom Gave Beer To Son, 4, At Irish Pub

Child negligence rap for South Carolina woman, 44

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Baby Given Beer

AUGUST 28--A South Carolina woman is facing child negligence charges after she was allegedly spotted giving her four-year-old son “shots” of beer at a bar Saturday night, police report.

Gretchen Lynn Kinnear, 44, was busted following the incident at McHale’s Irish Pub in Fort Mill, a town 18 miles south of Charlotte, North Carolina. Pictured in the adjacent mug shot, Kinnear was booked into the York County Detention Center for contributing to the delinquency of a minor (she was later released on $3000 bond).

According to a York County Sheriff’s Office report, bar patron Matthew Wray told deputies that he saw Kinnear give her child “about three ‘shots’ of beer.”  This occurred, Wray added, after he “had the manager and the waitress ask her to stop” providing the boy with alcohol.

When questioned by investigators, Kinnear copped to sharing “blonde beer” samples that were provided to her in shot glasses. She admitted doing this “at least twice while inside the bar,” deputies reported.

Describing the beverage his mother gave him as “tea,” the boy told deputies that the drink “tasted funny and made him laugh a lot.” The child “also said that the ‘tea’ that his mom gives him makes him dizzy.”

The boy also revealed that his mother gave him similar “tea” at home. Asked about this, Kinnear acknowledged that “about once or twice a week she drinks wine at her home” and allows her son “to have some.”

Kinnear added that she “doesn’t do it to get him drunk or keep him quiet.” But the sheriff’s report does not detail why she provides the boy with alcohol.

Child welfare workers took custody of the boy at McHale's and subsequently placed him in the care of a couple who babysits the child, deputies reported. (2 pages)