A Florida man was in jail with no bail Saturday after authorities said he threw a 2-month-old boy in their direction at the end of a wild vehicle chase near Vero Beach.
A deputy caught the boy, who was unharmed, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. John Henry James III was ultimately booked at the local jail on multiple charges, including battery on an officer and child abuse, according to inmate records.
One allegation, aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, means his bail has been revoked, the records indicate. The local public defender did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The pursuit in the community of Gifford took place on the early evening of May 26, but the sheriff’s office released details and edited the video Friday.
The chase started when a deputy attempted to stop the suspect for “failure to maintain the lane,” the office said. It lasted about 40 minutes and included James driving a white Nissan SUV that struck an unmarked sheriff’s vehicle, according to authorities. The pursuit got so wild that law enforcement called off the ground chase and tracked the suspect via helicopter, the sheriff’s office said. James drove to an apartment complex, stopped, and tried to run away, according to the agency. Deputies followed and chased him on foot, the office said. That’s when he allegedly tossed the baby.
Deputies took the suspect to the ground. “He kicked and bit at deputies and struggled when being loaded into the back of a deputy’s cruiser,” the sheriff’s office said. The suspect was taken to a hospital after complaining of complications due to asthma and released to jail on June 1, according to officials.