Several parents criticized an officer who stopped an 11-year-old girl driving a golf cart carrying eight small children, according to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.

An officer saw the cart traveling at a “moderate” speed in Harrison Caver Park in Bath at about 11:20 p.m. Friday and initiated a stop, according to a sheriff’s report. The cart appeared to be operated by a young girl and was carrying eight small children.

The driver was crying and told officers she didn’t want her parents to get in trouble, police said. Several other children on the cart appeared to be as young as 4.

When the officer asked where their parents were, the children pointed toward a parking lot at the park, the report stated. The owner of the golf cart came running up to the cart, followed by about 20 other adults.

The owner was “immediately hostile” and demanded to know why the officer stopped the driver, police said.

“(Reporting officer) explained to the (subject) that there have been prior incidents in the county where children doing similar things have been seriously injured and that ACSO deputies did not want to see the same thing occur to the children in the golf cart,” the report stated. “(Subject) stated that he was not as concerned as (reporting officer) and that since it was his child and his golf cart, it was his responsibility if his child or any other got hurt for allowing her to drive the golf cart.”

The other adults were in “unanimous agreement” that the children’s safety was not as much of a concern as the officer stopping the golf cart in the first place, police said.

Deputy pulls over golf cart full of children