Phoenix/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 11, 2024
Arizona Father Arrested for Allegedly Giving Children 'Laughing Gas' During Outing Near Ash ForkSource: NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

An Arizona man has been arrested and booked on multiple charges including child abuse and drug-related offenses after he allegedly allowed his children to inhale nitrous oxide, also known as "laughing gas." According to a report by FOX 10 Phoenix, Ryan Belknap, the father in question, was arrested after his 16-year-old daughter discovered a video of her younger brothers, ages 12 and 13, inhaling from a balloon during a four-wheeling trip near Ash Fork.

Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies were initially alerted to the incident after the mother of the children viewed the concerning footage. "The mother learned of the incident(s) from her 16-year-old daughter who was not involved, but who saw a potentially incriminating video taken by one of the boys while out with the suspect showing them inhaling the gas from a balloon," the sheriff's office said, as detailed by FOX 10 Phoenix. Following this, Belknap has admitted, to allegedly providing the nitrous oxide to his children. Authorities eventually found several large canisters of the gas inside Belknap's residence.

The incident, which supposedly took place during a father-son outing, has raised significant concerns about child welfare. As reported by 12 News, one of Belknap's sons reportedly passed out during the four-wheeling trip due to the effects of the laughing gas. This has prompted charges against Belknap of endangerment and furnishing harmful items to minors, in addition to the charges of child abuse and possession of drug paraphernalia.