Florida man throws baby at police after high-speed pursuit

The baby was caught by a deputy and taken to safety.
The baby was caught by a deputy and taken to safety. Photo credit: Indian River County Sheriff's Office

A US man has been charged with aggravated child abuse after throwing his infant child at a police officer following a high-speed chase in Florida.

John Henry James III threw the two-month-old infant at a deputy after fleeing his car when police finally managed to block his way after the 40-minute pursuit, the Indian River County Sheriff's Office said.

The baby was caught by the deputy and taken to safety.

"I've seen some crazy stuff but this is definitely up there," the officer, Deputy Jacob Curby, told the news station WPEC.

"It was kind of awkward. I couldn't chase him. I couldn't tackle him. Not a whole lot I can do because he had the baby," he added.

The incident happened on the evening of May 26, with the chase beginning after police tried to stop James after he failed to maintain his lane, the Sheriff's Officer said in a statement on Facebook.

The 32-year-old then refused to stop for police, dodging roadblocks, striking the front of one officer's car and driving over road spikes while attempting to escape.

"After James bailed out of his car and threw the infant, he fled on foot through the trees and between buildings," the Sheriff's Office said. 

"Our deputies pursued on foot and were able to take James to the ground, where he continued to resist. He kicked and bit at deputies and struggled when being loaded into the back of a deputy's cruiser. A large group of residents gathered around the deputies, forcing us to call for backup to assist in crowd control."

As well as aggravated child abuse, James also faces charges including aggravated battery on an officer, reckless driving and resisting arrest with violence.

After being arrested he was taken to hospital and treated for a pre-existing condition, police said.

He was medically cleared on June 1 and is currently being held in the county jail without bond.