November 21, 2002 01:55 PM

Former megastar Michael Jackson may have shocked more than just his fans with Tuesday’s surprising appearance on a hotel balcony with his infant son.

German authorities are looking into whether he actually committed a crime when he dangled the barefoot, blue-clad baby beyond the iron railing of his fourth-floor Berlin balcony, Reuters reports.

“We are examining if there is cause to open an investigation into whether a crime was committed,” Berlin police spokeswoman Christine Rother tells the wire service. If there was suspicion of parental “neglect of duty in respect of care and supervision,” she continued, the police would launch a formal investigation into Tuesday’s incident.

Photos of Jackson’s brief hotel-window appearance were broadcast worldwide Tuesday, drawing widespread criticism and an immediate apology from the star. “I made a terrible mistake,” Jackson said in a statement, explaining he had gotten carried away when fans below the window asked to see the baby. “I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children.”

A spokeswoman for the Bambi entertainment award ceremony, which Jackson was attending in Berlin, told the AP the baby was the singer’s third child, Prince Michael II, who’s less than a year old. Jackson also has two older children from his marriage to Debbie Rowe, which ended in 1999: a 5-year-old boy also named Prince Michael, and a 4-year-old girl, Paris.

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