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Father accused of driving twin toddlers off Sunset Cliffs pleads not guilty

A father who reportedly was suicidal drove his pickup over Sunset Cliffs with his 2-year-old daughters inside, police say.
A father who reportedly was suicidal drove his pickup over Sunset Cliffs with his twin 2-year-old daughters inside, according to police.
(Jim Grant)

A father accused of intentionally driving a pickup truck off Sunset Cliffs and into the ocean with his twin toddler daughters inside pleaded not guilty June 22 to attempted murder, kidnapping and other charges.

Robert Brians, 47, who also is charged in the 13-count criminal complaint with child abuse, making criminal threats, child abduction and burglary, is being held without bail. He is due back in San Diego County Superior Court on July 22 for a readiness conference.

According to authorities, the man’s wife called 911 around 4:30 a.m. June 13 reporting that her husband had taken off with their 2-year-old twins and planned to drive his pickup off the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

A sheriff’s dispatcher notified San Diego police and put out a description of the vehicle and family. After authorities tracked the pickup to the Sunset Cliffs area via cellphone signals, a police officer located it on Hill Street near Cornish Drive, according to police. As the officer approached, the truck sped off and plunged over a 30-foot rocky sea bluff.

A police K-9 officer used a 100-foot-long canine leash in his car to rappel down the cliff to rescue the family.

Medics took the father and daughters to hospitals for treatment of injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

A GoFundMe page created to raise money for the girls’ medical bills has raised more than $16,000 as of June 23.


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