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Florida father reportedly threw his infant at deputy following high-speed chase

3 years 1 month 1 week ago Saturday, June 05 2021 Jun 5, 2021 June 05, 2021 5:00 PM June 05, 2021 in News
Source: CNN

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Florida - A man who led deputies on a 40-minute long pursuit through Florida's southeastern Indian River County reportedly shocked the officials when he suddenly threw his infant child at them, according to CNN.

The news outlet says the Indian River County Sheriff's Office identified the Florida father as 32-year-old John James III.

James faces aggravated child abuse and other charges after allegedly fleeing authorities in a high speed chase during which he, at various points, hit a detective's vehicle, dodged roadblocks, and barreled over tire deflation devices, deputies said.

But the most disturbing moment of the chase was when it ended with James allegedly hurling his own child at a deputy.

Video footage of the incident captures the moment James is tackled by law enforcement while a nearby deputy cradles the baby.

Deputy Jacob Curby told reporters James left his car carrying his baby after the May 26 pursuit and "just turned around, no regard, not a little toss" and "overhand threw" the two-month-old at him from about six feet away.

CNN reports that Curby then caught the baby, who was later deemed healthy and unharmed.

The sheriff's office also confirmed that deputies were "able to relocate the baby to safety."

Deputy Curby said, "I've seen some crazy stuff but this is definitely up there." 

He added, "It was kind of awkward. I couldn't chase him. I couldn't tackle him. Not a whole lot I can do because he had the baby."

CNN says the Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating the incident.

Once in custody, officials say James was checked by emergency medical technicians and taken to a hospital after telling deputies he could not breathe and that he has asthma.

In addition to two felony counts of aggravated child abuse, CNN says James faces counts of aggravated battery of an officer/firefighter/EMT, felony flee and elude, reckless driving and resisting arrest with violence.

The news outlet adds that James also faces a charge of aggravated battery on a pregnant woman. But the sheriff's office did not provide details in relation to this particular charge.

James was released from the hospital Tuesday, and booked into jail. 

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