Vero Beach, FL

Vero Beach man tosses his baby at police to escape pursuit, officers catch infant in mid-air

Amy Christie

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A Vero Beach driver did all he could to escape police in hot pursuit after him. And the tactic he chose shocked all officers there. He threw his baby at the police in a last attempt to get away. Thankfully, a hero deputy managed to catch the infant in mid-air, very likely saving the baby’s life.

John Henry James, 32, was driving erratically on May 26. His white Nissan Rogue was flagged by an officer who tried to pull James over. He ignored the police on purpose and drove on, according to an official report.

A high-speed police chase followed. It went on for about 40 minutes and it included roadblocks. In the end the authorities disabled the vehicle with a spike strip and the chase finished.

James pulled his vehicle into an apartment complex and left it there. The officers proceeded to pursue the suspect on foot. That’s when the terrible idea occurred to James.

He didn’t hesitate to hurl his 2-month-old son at the police in a last attempt to be free.

Indian River County Sheriff's Office Deputy Jacob Kurby made a momentous catch and got the baby in mid-air. The infant was not harmed thanks to the officer’s timely reaction.

James continued to run, but the officers caught him in the parking lot, where he reportedly kept trying to resist the arrest.

When he was finally taken into custody, the suspect claimed he had difficulty breathing because of his asthma, according to The Blaze.

He was taken to a nearby Fire Station where EMTs checked him out. He still tried to resist and hurt an officer. He was then given a sedative and taken to hospital.

Based on jail records, he has been charged with the following counts:

  • two counts of aggravated child abuse,
  • aggravated battery on an officer/firefighter/EMT,
  • aggravated battery on a pregnant woman,
  • felony flee and elude, resisting arrest with violence, and
  • reckless driving.

He is being held without bond

“It was kind of awkward. I couldn't chase him, not a whole lot I can do because he had the baby. He just turned around, no regard, not a little toss or anything, he just turned around, overhand threw this 2-month-old baby at me from about 6 feet away. He’s just a cute little baby, fluffy hair, had a cute little outfit on. Luckily we were able to get the baby from him before he did trip and fall, or try to car jack somebody else,” the hero deputy told WPEC-TV.
“You can't throw a baby at us and expect us to treat you with kid gloves,” Sheriff Eric Flowers said for the news outlets after the Vero Beach incident.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX
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