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Man arrested for using truck to pull boy on mattress

A deputy pulled the plug on a thrill ride of a different kind -- a young man driving a pickup pulling his young cousin down a busy residential street on a mattress.

The ride was anything but comfortable for Christopher Rodas, 19, of Merced, who was arrested for felony child endangerment and booked into Merced County Jail where he remained Thursday night in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman, said undercover deputy Dustin Witt saw Rodas pulling his 11-year-old cousin along Esplanade Drive on a box spring through traffic Wednesday afternoon. The joyride ended at El Redondo Drive.

The deputy saw Rodas drag the boy three or four blocks at speeds ranging between 30 and 35 mph, including crossing busy Yosemite Avenue. Rodas told deputies they found the mattress abandoned on the side of the road and it seemed like a fun idea.

"Obviously, this wasn't the brightest thing to do in the middle of the day in traffic," MacKenzie said.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2485 or