Crime & Courts

CMPD officer charged after giving alcohol to baby and young child, police say

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A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse after he gave alcohol to a 1-year-old and a 6-year-old, police said.

Officer Robert Milton, 56, was served with two criminal summonses Friday afternoon, police said.

The children are half-brothers, and Milton is the 1-year-old’s father, Deputy Chief Gerald Smith said. The boys’ mother told police what had happened Wednesday, which started the investigation, according to Smith and a CMPD news release.

Smith said both children are OK.

“I’m a father, and I think everyone else in here who’s an adult knows you don’t give kids alcohol,” Smith said. “And the level of concern goes up as the age of the children (goes) down ... being disappointed is probably the weakest adjective we could come up with.”

Milton, who started working for CMPD in 2012, has been placed on unpaid administrative leave. He’s assigned to the Airport Division, police said.

Smith refused to give much detail about how the alcohol was given to the kids.

“We are still investigating ... but I will tell you that Mr. Milton was in control of the alcoholic beverage and also its container the entire time,” Smith said.

In a statement, CMPD Chief Kerr Putney referred to National Police Week and said he’s disappointed.

“As we honor the men and women in law enforcement this week, it is important that the community understands the overwhelming majority of police officers serve with integrity,” he said. “Officers who betray their oath and break the law will be held accountable for their actions.”

Milton is the subject of an internal CMPD investigation as well as a criminal investigation, Putney said.

Jane Wester is a Charlotte native and has been covering criminal justice and public safety for The Charlotte Observer since May 2017.