Posted on June 7, 2021

Suspect, 32, Throws a Baby at a Cop After as He Tries to Flee Officers

Melissa Koenig, Daily Mail, June 6, 2021

A Florida man is being held without bail after he allegedly threw his two-month-old baby at a police officer standing six feet away, following a high-speed car chase.

Deputies tried to pull John Henry James III, 32, over for failing to maintain his lane on May 26, but he continued to drive, leading police officers on a 40-minute high-speed chase, officials with the the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office said.

John Henry James

John Henry James

When they finally caught up with him at an apartment complex in Gifford, James got out of the car with the baby. It is not clear if the child belongs to James.

He then threw the infant – overhand – at one of the officers as he tried to flee through the trees.

‘I’ve seen some crazy stuff but this is definitely up there,’ Deputy Jacob Curby, who caught the infant, told CBS12 News, adding: ‘It wasn’t a nice underhand handoff from a foot away, it was a throw.’

The child was unharmed and police were able to ‘relocate the baby to safety.’ The Florid Department of Children and Families is now investigating the incident.’

‘He’s just a cute little baby, fluffy hair, had a cute little outfit on,’ Curby said. ‘Luckily we were able to get the baby before he did trip and fall or try to car jack somebody else.’

The pursuit began at around 6.30 p.m. on State Road 60 in Vero Beach, when deputies spotted a white Nissan Rogue driving erratically through the lanes.

He then drove off with the cops following him, at times striking a detective’s vehicle, squeezing between cars and barreling over tire deflation devices, forcing cars to swerve out of the way.

A number of people in a residential area forced the deputies to stand down at one point, the Sheriff’s Office reports, at which time they deployed a law enforcement helicopter to track James’ location at the apartment complex.

As the cops approach, body camera footage shows a woman started screaming: ‘He got a baby.’

They then approach him, at which point James hurls the infant at Curby, who could be seen holding the child while other officers chased James through trees and the sides of buildings, eventually forcing him to the ground.

James tried to resist arrest, the Sheriff’s Office reports, kicking and biting officers as they tried to cuff him and escort him into the patrol car.

When he finally did get taken into custody, the footage from the Sheriff’s Office shows, he started complaining he could not breathe and had asthma.

He could be heard in the video telling the officers that his chest hurts as well as ‘I’m losing wind,’ and ‘I’m tired, bro,’ at which point one of the officers responds: ‘Yeah, that’s cause you ran, you did this.’

Officials said they had him examined by Emergency Medical Technicians before bringing him to the local hospital, where deputies noticed his breath smelled like alcohol.

He was released from the hospital last Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Office reports, and is now being held without bond.

‘You can’t throw a baby at us and expect us to treat you with kid gloves,’ Sheriff Eric Flowers said in a statement.

James is charged with aggravated child abuse, as well as aggravated battery of an official/firefighter/EMT, felony flee and elude, reckless driving and resisting arrest with violence.

Additionally, he faces charges of aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, CNN reports, but the Sheriff’s Office has not released details about that charge.

He was previously arrested on charges of battery, home burglary and grand theft.