A father of three from Phoenix, Arizona, has taken a tough-love approach to reprimanding his teen son who stole the family’s Range Rover for a joyride. The concerned dad then laid out his son’s belongings on the sidewalk and gave them away for free.
Ramon Martinez insisted that his 14-year-old son Angel sit on his bed throughout the Aug. 3 yard sale holding a handwritten sign that read “Sorry I stole my parents’ car and was ‘speeding.’”
To make a public example of his son’s misdemeanor, Ramon logged on to Facebook live to film the street-side giveaway. At the time of writing, 184,000 social media users have watched and played witness to this out-of-the-box punishment.
“Today, his room is 100 percent empty, and we’re giving all his stuff away,” Ramon told Fox 10. “Mostly to apologize. We’re neighbors as well.”
“He could’ve run someone over. Something really bad could’ve happened,” the father said.
The family’s neighbors were disrupted by Angel’s joyride, the report stated. The teen took the car while his parents were in Las Vegas, celebrating their anniversary, and drove it at high speeds around the neighborhood.
Ramon and his wife, Nancy, found out about their son’s indiscretion via a phone call from the Phoenix Police Department.
Angel lost everything within a matter of hours: his flat-screen television, his bed, his chest of drawers, and even the contents of his wardrobe.
“I just wanted to drive but I don’t have a license so I just took it,” the teen told the news outlet. “I can wash the car, and I was like, I don’t have anything to dry it, so I’m gonna take it for one spin until it dries.”
Ramon said that his son will be sleeping on the couch for some time in the near future to ensure his lesson has been learned.
“It’s kind of weird, but I think it’s a fair punishment,” the teen said.
For some, Ramon’s unorthodox punishment for his son may seem amusing compared to what could have transpired. However, according to Criminal Defense Lawyer Ave Mince-Didier, joyriding is usually classed as a misdemeanor but can, under certain circumstances, be charged as a felony.
Mince-Didier said that for as long as there have been cars, there has been joyriding. In the early days, people who did not own or could not afford their own vehicles would, on occasion, “borrow” one to experience the thrill of driving; the law responded by devising criteria to differentiate “joyriders” from bonafide thieves.
“Recognizing that a person who goes joyriding is usually less culpable and often less sophisticated than a thief,” the lawyer said, “most state lawmakers classify joyriding as a less serious offense than theft, and one that is punished less severely.”
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