Dad defends letting five year old do burnout
A FATHER who came under nation-wide fire, after putting a video of his five-year-old son doing burnouts in a sports car on Facebook, has defended his actions.
Alex Dobson, from Thagoona in Queensland's Lockyer Valley, made news around the country after the clip of his son Riley burning rubber in the driveway was released last week.
The caption read: "When your 5-year-old says… Dad, can I do a burnout? Sure son, no worries."
"Remember, a car addiction stops a drug addiction."
The video, which has garnered more than 14,000 likes, almost 50,000 shares and 3.4 million views on Mr Dobson's Facebook account, has polarised opinion online.
"Riley knows he's been on TV but he doesn't understand the situation fully," he said.
"He got his first quad bike when he was two years old.
"He picked it up so quickly and just blew me away. He has a real natural talent.
"It's just normal for him."
The 27-year-old single dad, who has been Riley's sole parent for four years, was quick to point out that the video was shot in a private driveway.
"We built the car together, whatever we do we do together," Mr Dobson said.
"I wouldn't chuck a normal five-year-old in the car. It's taken me years of having him on my lap with him putting it into gear, him using the break and accelerator.
"He's done it all by himself countless times. This was the first time I wasn't in the car with him."
The Lockyer Valley dad said he also had the car strapped down to a large tree, which wasn't visible in the video.
"People don't realise the car was strapped down and secure," he said.
"(The reaction) has been pretty full on but there is always going to be someone who is going to complain."
Mr Dobson spoke to APN today to share his side of the story.
"People are worried (Riley) will be a hoon when he's 18," he said.
"He won't. What I am trying to teach him is we can do this, but only in a controlled environment.
"As I was growing up my dad didn't support me and I was a stupid teenager and did it on the road and got caught.
"That's why I want to teach him the right way to do this."
What's happened since the video was posted
IPSWICH police have since seized the car and are continuing investigations to see whether charges can be laid, as the incident took place on private property.
"Police have seized the video of the incident and investigations are continuing," a QPS spokesperson said.
Officers from the Child Protection Unit also visited Mr Dobson since the video was released.
Mr Dobson said the car, which he and Riley refurbished, was not registered and had never been driven on the road.
"I don't know why they've taken the car. I think I should get it back," he said.
"They said they were going to get a mechanic to take a look but I think they're wasting their time."
The dad said he thought a visit from the Child Protection Unit was "quite extreme".
"We had an interview at the police station where I told them my side of the story," he said.
"I understand there is going to be a lot of people disagreeing with me but safety procedures were put in place."