Walter Antonio Flores, 38, was "intoxicated in public and drinking at a bar with his 4-year-old son" on Saturday, arrest warrants state. The name of the bar was not released.
Flores, of 544 Brent Road, was charged with misdemeanor child abuse and taken to the Wake County jail.
A native of Nicaragua, Flores underwent an immigration status check at the jail but was not flagged for deportation, according to arrest warrants.
He has a 2004 conviction for assault on a female, according to state Division of Adult Correction records.