California father arrested for driving 104 trying to get son to youth soccer game

It's not unusual, or necessarily unsafe, for a parent and his children to be running a bit behind schedule, perhaps to a kid's sporting event. What is both rare and incredibly unsafe is for that parent to recklessly speed to try and make up the lost time and get there in time for kickoff or first pitch.

A new Nissan Altima — Getty Images
A new Nissan Altima — Getty Images

The most troubling example of that scenario arose on Saturday in California, where a father was arrested for driving 104 mph to try and get his son and his son's friend to a scheduled soccer game on time. As reported by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and San Francisco Chronicle, among other sources, 41-year-old Juan Carlos Gallegos was arrested after a Petaluma police officer recorded his Nissan Altima traveling more than 100 mph on the wrong side of the road.

While it may be stunning that a Nissan Altima could travel 104 mph without incident, the fact that any driver would do so -- and would cross into oncoming traffic to pass other slower cars -- is terrifying. That he would do so with two 9-year-olds in the backseat is even more horrifying.

It took Petaluma police officer Ron Klein a full three miles to catch up with Gallegos' speeding vehicle after he had captured his speed on radar, but when he did reach the car, Gallegos was immediately arrested on suspicion of reckless driving and child endangerment. According to the Chronicle, the father had been cited for both charges in the past.

As for the children in the car, it was clear they realized they were at risk while riding with Gallegos as well.

"I knew he was going fast because I could hear the engine and we were passing other cars," one of the two children reportedly told police.

Gallegos' Nissan was impounded for 30 days following his arrest, a penalty which should keep him from speeding quite so recklessly for at least a month. Meanwhile, Gallegos' son was picked up from the Petaluma police station by his mother, as was the other child in the car by his parents.

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