‘Then the Crying Stopped’: Man Walks into Pond with 3-Month-Old, Drowning Him as Others Watch

Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post, August 2, 2016

Like James Stewart in Hitchcock’s “Rear Window,” Robert Amstadt watched the atrocity from his Milwaukee apartment in horror.

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Amstadt had heard the telltale signs of a domestic disturbance–voices rising in heated, passionate argument–around 8:45 p.m. Saturday night. It was like any other fight between lovers, until he heard a woman scream, “Give me back my baby.”

Curious, he rushed to the window only to find his view obscured by a patch of trees lining the large pond that residents of both complexes enjoyed. Before Amstadt turned away, a man carrying an infant walked out from between the trees and continued down an asphalt path toward the water.

A cluster of people followed the man in a bewildering parade, yelling, “Don’t go in the water.”

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One of the crowd members stepped forward and grabbed the bawling baby’s arm. The man with the infant yanked it back and began bee-lining directly to the pond. Amstadt called 911.

The man holding the baby reached the water’s edge while Amstadt was on the phone.

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“That baby cried all the way out into the water,” Amstadt said. “Then the crying stopped.”

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With the baby firmly underwater and out of sight, someone finally sprang into action.

Joey Griffin, a member of the throng of onlookers, splashed into the water.

“Without thinking–I just ran into the water,” Griffin told WITI. “I yelled at him, ‘Where’s the baby? Where’s the baby?’ ”

He noticed its tiny, limp body floating some feet from the man.

“I grabbed it. I tried to swim away with it,” Griffin said. “He lunged at me and took the baby again and swam further, deeper.”

By the time police and the Milwaukee Fire Department arrived at the pond, the man was no longer holding him. Some of the responders dove into the water, and found the baby’s body. Others arrested the man, who was still standing in the water.

Firefighters attempted to revive the child to no avail. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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The man they arrested was Sean A. Flowers Jr., the baby’s father, police announced Monday. {snip}

Sean Flowers Jr.

Sean Flowers Jr.

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In 2012, Flowers and the boy’s mother, 26, who remains unnamed, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft for stealing the purse of a Marquette University student. Flowers violated the probation he received and ended up serving prison time, according to court records obtained by the Journal Sentinel.

Then, the woman became pregnant with the couple’s first child–a girl. She wrote to the court, requesting an early release for Flowers so he could be present for the child’s birth in August 2014.

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Several months later, the woman filed for a restraining order against Flowers after alleging he kicked down her door and threatened her and had previously punched her repeatedly.

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