A meal at TGI Friday’s in Stockton-on-Tees and a light-hearted Facebook post prompted a visit from cops with child welfare concerns
A dad says his Christmas period was ruined after a light-hearted Facebook post about accidentally feeding his newborn son hot sauce resulted in a visit from the police.
Furious Paul Dawson was dumbfounded when officers knocked on his Stockton home asking if it was true that he feeds his five-day-old son, Ben, the spicy sauce.
The bizarre incident stemmed from a Facebook post Paul had written on Sunday when eating at TGI Fridays in Stockton-on-Tees with his family.
The 39-year-old said: “My baby son was born on New Year’s Day and myself and my partner Lorencia went for something to eat.
“Lorencia was breast-feeding Ben and I was eating hot wings. She was wanting to eat her food so asked if I could hold him while she ate.
“I’d wiped my hands on a napkin, as you do, and was holding him.
“He wasn’t too happy at not feeding anymore so I put my knuckle in his mouth to try and pacify him – completely forgetting about what I’d eaten.
“Ben made a funny face and that was that.”
Paul then put a status on Facebook saying: “Apparently five-day-old babies don’t like it when their dads put their fingers in their mouths after eating hot wings. Unintentionally by the way. Lol.”
But a couple of days later, on Tuesday, the police knocked on his door.
The barber shop owner added” “I opened the door and asked what was up. They replied ‘you don’t know then?’ and I said I didn’t have a clue.
“That’s when they told me that I had apparently been feeding my son hot sauce. I just said ‘are you taking the p*** , mate?'”
Annoyed and upset that someone had reported him, Paul left it up to his partner to explain the situation to the officers.
He said: “I was actually quite tearful that someone had called the police. My girlfriend then asked the officers if they’d even read the Facebook post.
“They hadn’t, so they were shown it and they just looked embarrassed. They apologised and admitted that they shouldn’t have been called and then left.
“I can’t believe, with our stretched police force, they were sent out without looking into it properly. It was absolutely disgusting, it just tarnished the whole Christmas season.”
A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “Police received a call from a member of the public regarding concern for the welfare of a baby on Tuesday 8 January.
“As a result, two officers were deployed to an address in Stockton to speak with the parents of the baby to understand the circumstances of the report.
“Officers were satisfied that the baby was safe and well and there were no further enquiries carried out.”