INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. – A pursuit came to an end when a Florida man bailed out of the car he was driving and tossed a 2-month-old baby at deputies, according to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said they spotted a Nissan Rogue that failed to maintain its lane on 20th Street around 6:30 p.m. on May 26 and when an unmarked vehicle attempted to conduct a traffic stop, the driver of the Nissan refused to pull over.
Records show deputies didn’t engage in a pursuit at that time but deputies spotted the Nissan, driven by 32-year-old John Henry James, later that day and once again attempted a traffic stop, but he sped off.
James continued driving as deputies kept track of him and attempted a pit maneuver near a trailer park but that was unsuccessful, according to the affidavit.
Deputies then began a pursuit of the Nissan and in the process, James crashed into an unmarked patrol vehicle, the same one that had initially tried to pull him over, authorities said.
Records show stop sticks were used to puncture James’ tires and shortly thereafter he pulled into an apartment complex and bailed out of the Nissan while holding a small child.
He’s accused of running through the complex with the baby then throwing the 2-month-old boy at a deputy, who managed to catch the child.
Video from the encounter shows a deputy holding the baby while others struggle with James on the ground. A crowd started to form with some yelling a James to comply and others expressing concern for the child.
“Stop fighting them,” a woman yelled.
James was eventually taken into custody but deputies said he resisted during the process, kicking and biting at them.
Once he was in the patrol car, James complained that he couldn’t breathe as a result of his asthma so an ambulance was called.
He was taken to a hospital before he was booked into jail.
“You can’t throw a baby at us and expect us to treat you with kid gloves,” Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers said.
He’s facing charges of child abuse, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, reckless driving and resisting arrest with violence.
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