A New Jersey man who was pulled over and arrested on Staten Island on Friday night was accused of driving drunk across the Outerbridge Crossing from New Jersey with his 4-year-old son in the back seat of his vehicle, the police said.
The man, Stuart Stott, 42, of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., was charged under a New York State law making it a felony for anyone to drive drunk with a child in their car, said Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the police of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Mr. Stott’s blood-alcohol level was “in excess of twice the legal limit” of 0.08, Mr. Della Fave said, adding that Mr. Stott was given a breath analysis test. Among the charges lodged against him were aggravated driving while intoxicated and endangering the welfare of a child, Mr. Della Fave said. On Saturday, he was being held awaiting arraignment.
According to Mr. Della Fave, Mr. Stott told the police that he was a “whistle-blower” in a lawsuit against P.S.E.&G., the New Jersey power company.
On Dec. 20, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark, a Stuart Stott and two other former employees of P.S.E.&G. filed a suit in Essex County Superior Court claiming that they had been wrongfully dismissed after complaining that the company had misused money, an accusation the company strongly denied.
When asked about Mr. Stott’s involvement in the lawsuit, his wife, Maggie McGuire, said she was “not at liberty to say” and referred questions to his lawyer, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Stott, who said he had been at Yankee Stadium on Friday for the Pinstripe Bowl between Rutgers and Iowa State, told the police that he had consumed five or six beers at the game, Mr. Della Fave said. He said he had programmed his home address into his vehicle’s navigation system, Mr. Della Fave said, and then followed its directions even after he realized that it had taken him off course.
About 9 p.m. on Friday, several 911 calls were made about a “guy driving erratically” on Route 440 in New Jersey, Mr. Della Fave said. Because those notifications are routed to all surrounding police agencies, Officer Jerome Crimi of the Port Authority police heard them and began to calculate where the driver might be.
Officer Crimi headed from Staten Island toward the Outerbridge Crossing “to be in the best place to intercept” the driver, Mr. Della Fave said, adding, “Sure enough, here comes the 2004 four-door gray Volvo that everyone is calling about.” The officer tried to pull the driver over, but the vehicle stopped in the roadway. The officer, on his public address system, then directed the driver to keep going to a safety zone just beyond the toll plaza on the Staten Island side of the bridge.
Mr. Stott’s son was in a booster seat in the back seat and asleep, Mr. Della Fave said.
Officers contacted Mr. Stott’s wife, who picked up the boy. Reached by telephone on Saturday, Ms. McGuire declined to comment about the arrest. She said her husband was unemployed and looking for a job.
The law that created stiffer penalties for drunken driving with young passengers, which went into effect in December 2009, is known as Leandra’s Law. It is named for Leandra Rosado, an 11-year-old girl from Manhattan who was killed in a crash on the West Side Highway in October 2009.