Video: Man hurls 2-month-old baby at deputies after high-speed pursuit

Deputy Jacob Curby said the suspect "overhand threw this two-month-old at me from about six feet away"

By Carli Teproff
The Miami Herald

VERO BEACH, Fla. — After leading law enforcement officers on a chase through a Florida county, John Henry James III pulled into an apartment complex, picked up a 2-month-old in the car, threw the baby at a deputy and then took off running, the Indian River County Sheriff's Office said.

On Friday, the sheriff's office released video from dash cams and the helicopter showing the chase and dramatic ending.

James, who according to records has done at least one stint in jail after being convicted of grand theft, was taken in to custody after the May 26 incident and is now being held in the county jail with no bond.

In addition to facing two felony counts of aggravated child abuse, he also faces a slew of other felony charges including aggravated battery on an officer/firefighter/EMT, reckless driving and resisting arrest with violence.

"You can't throw a baby at us and expect us to treat you with kid gloves," Sheriff Eric Flowers said in a release.

According to the sheriff's office, the incident began at about 6:30 p.m. May 26 when a deputy attempted to pull James over for a traffic stop on State Road 60 in Vero Beach.

Instead of stopping, James took off, the sheriff's office said.

The video shows James blowing through stop signs, speeding through residential roads and weaving in and out of traffic.

The chase lasted about 40 minutes and ended when deputies boxed him in at an apartment complex.

"As he bailed out of his car, he grabbed the 2-month-old boy who had been in the car with him and threw the child in the direction of a deputy," the department said in a social media post. "That deputy successfully caught the child and was able to relocate the baby to safety."

The Department of Children and Families was then notified.

After throwing the baby, James ran through the trees and between buildings. The deputies were eventually able to take him into custody.

"He kicked and bit at deputies and struggled when being loaded into the back of a deputy's cruiser," the department said.

James, who said he had asthma, was taken to Cleveland Clinic Indian River Medical Center for treatment.

He was released from the hospital on June 1 and booked into jail.


(c)2021 Miami Herald

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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