TOTTENVILLE — A Staten Island man was arrested Monday after he lost his 4-year-old son and tried to cover it up by telling police his car was stolen with the boy inside, prosecutors said.
Terry Liaros, 46, called police at 8:22 p.m. Sunday to report his Toyota SUV stolen as it sat idling in the driveway of his Craig Avenue home. He said his 4-year-old son was in the back, court papers said.
Police found the car parked at Lenhart and Hecker avenues. A neighbor later found the boy and called police, a law enforcement source said.
But Liaros's story of the stolen car unraveled when he was seen on surveillance video driving around the neighborhood searching for the boy, and later parking the vehicle at the intersection where it was found, court papers said.
When questioned by police, Liaros eventually admitted to making up the story.
"I'm sorry that I f--ked up," Liaros told police, according to court papers. "I don't have to make excuses for losing my child."
Liaros then said he returned home from a cellphone store with his three sons on Sunday. The two oldest left the car while the 4-year-old stayed inside watching a movie, the source said. He eventually left the car and wandered around the neighborhood.
Liaros created the fictional account so police would respond quickly to help find his missing son, the source said.
Liaros was arrested and arraigned on Monday and charged with falsely reporting an incident. He was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court next month.
He could not be reached for comment.
An Administration for Children's Services spokeswoman said the agency was investigating.