Father ‘killed 11-year-old son by drunkenly running him over with boat’

Property developer from one of Mexico's wealthiest families facing manslaughter charges

Chiara Giordano
Tuesday 17 September 2019 20:00
Tiburon, California, police chief Mike Cronin answers reporters' questions 16 September 2019 after man charged with manslaughter over death of 11-year-old son during boating incident in San Francisco Bay.
Tiburon, California, police chief Mike Cronin answers reporters' questions 16 September 2019 after man charged with manslaughter over death of 11-year-old son during boating incident in San Francisco Bay.

A property developer from one of Mexico’s wealthiest families is facing manslaughter charges after his 11-year-old son died during a boating trip.

Javier Burillo Azcarraga, 57, was arrested at his multi-million-dollar home in Belvedere, California, on Sunday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with a vessel, wilful harm or injury to a child, and allegedly operating a boat while under the influence, police say.

The father had been driving a boat with his two sons, aged 11 and 27, on board when it hit a wave and his sons were thrown into the water near Angel Island, San Francisco Bay, Tiburon Police Chief Michael Cronin said.

The boat struck the two brothers as their father tried to rescue them. Mr Cronin said there was a "fair possibility that they were swept under" or were hurt when Mr Burillo turned the boat.

Mr Burillo helped pull them from the water and took them to the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, California, where the 11-year-old boy was pronounced dead, according to police.

The older son had cuts on his leg and was taken to hospital.

Mr Cronin told a press conference: “It’s a tragedy. We’re all heartsick about it. The community is shocked.”

"He was operating the boat, he had that choice, and the negligent part of it is the alcohol," Mr Cronin said.

Online jail records show Mr Burillo was released on $1 million (£800,370) bail on Monday afternoon.

Property records show Mr Burillo’s full name is Javier Burillo Azcarraga, a wealthy property developer known for lavish hotels and restaurants throughout Mexico.

General view of San Francisco Bay.

Mr Cronin would not confirm his full name, but added that the developer was a well-known and liked member of the Tiburon-Belvedere community.

The Azcarraga family founded Grupo Televisa SA, a media empire that produces Spanish-language television programming seen across Latin America and dominates news coverage in Mexico.

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US property records show Mr Burillo’s Marin County home was purchased in 2004 for $10.2 million.

US records show he and his wife, Rose, also own properties in San Diego and Sausalito.

Associated Press contributed to this report.