A 35-year-old dad in Honolulu celebrated Father’s Day 2014 by getting hospitalized and then arrested after jumping from the second floor balcony of his apartment building – taking his 11-month-old baby along for the ride. According to a June 17 report from The Huffington Post, the father, Zelig Pickering, was arrested following a brief stay in the hospital, and charged on Monday with “endangering the welfare of a minor, a misdemeanor.”
Neighbors say that Pickering had only recently moved into the apartment complex with his wife and baby. Emergency personnel were called to the apartment after receiving reports of a baby crying on a balcony of the building’s second floor. When those responders knocked on the door to Pickering’s apartment, “witnesses say they saw Pickering on the balcony holding the baby.”
One person on the scene said that he saw Pickering straddling the balcony’s wall and then saw him jump down, with his baby in his arms. That witness, a resident from the area named Darrel Aki, said that Pickering’s daredevil jump didn’t end well. “He hit that wall and then he fell [on his back] with the baby," Aki said.
Even more incredible, after making the jump from the balcony, Pickering got up and just ran away from the scene, leaving his baby lying on the ground. Some witnesses gave chase, caught up with Pickering, and held him until police got there.
Pickering was taken to the hospital in serious condition. The baby was miraculously unharmed in the fall.
In a strange twist of the justice system, Pickering was only charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. Had the infant been injured, Pickering could have been charged with felony assault, which was in fact the original charge against him.
According to KHON2, both Pickering and the baby were taken to the hospital in serious condition. Thankfully though, the baby was not injured, resulting in the father’s charge being reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Officials do not have an explanation for why Pickering jumped from the balcony to elude the authorities that came knocking on his door this Father’s Day. Pickering has since been released from jail on bail. Police are continuing their investigation though.