Frank Roder, 38, of Winfield, told The (Newark) Star-Ledger his son Aidan had opened the door of his stopped sport utility vehicle May 17 in Rahway River Park and sprinted toward the edge of a steep embankment. Afraid the boy would fall to the water 20 to 30 feet below, Roder said he quickly put the vehicle into park and ran to catch Aidan before he fell.
At that point, the SUV rolled off the edge of the embankment and crashed into the water below, The Star-Ledger reported Wednesday.
"You opened the door and all the water came rushing out," Roder said. "A few minutes later, this young cop came walking over and said he was giving me these tickets."
Winfield police ticketed Roder for failing to set the brake and for failing to show proof of insurance, which Roder said was floating inside the submerged Jeep.
Roder plans to fight the tickets in court because, he said, the broken windshield-wiper control he snapped off thinking it was the parking brake is proof he tried to park the car.