WATCH: Suspect runs from police, throws baby at deputy during arrest

Source: Indian River County Sheriff's Office

Jun. 8 2021, Published 9:03 a.m. ET

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A man who threw a baby at sheriff’s deputies during a chase faces criminal charges and is being held without bail in a Florida jail.

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“You can’t throw a baby at us and expect us to treat you with kid gloves,” Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers said, after the incident, according to the agency.

Last week, the sheriff’s office released body camera and helicopter footage from the arrest.

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On May 26, around 6:30 p.m., deputies tried to stop John Henry James III, 32, but he fled and led deputies on a 40-minute chase. Deputies tried to stop him in the Vero Beach area for failure to maintain his lane.

During the chase, James hit one detective’s vehicle and dodged roadblocks, according to the sheriff’s office.

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The chase ended an apartment complex in the Gifford community, according to the sheriff’s office. There, James bailed out the car and threw a 2-month-old infant at deputies.

A deputy caught the child.


On the videos released by the Indian River County Sheriff, a woman could be heard screaming that the suspect had a baby as deputies started to chase him on foot at the apartment community.

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After tossing the baby, James tried to run through trees and between buildings, but deputies took him to the ground. James continued to resist and bit and kicked at deputies during the arrest, according to the sheriff’s office.

A group of residents started to gather, which police said forced them to call for crowd control, according to the sheriff’s office.

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Deputies put James into a squad car, where he said he could not breathe and had asthma. Police called for EMS to check on the suspect and James continued to resist while being placed on a stretcher to go to the hospital, according to the sheriff’s office.

James was released from the hospital on June 1 and was charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse. He is being held without bail.

The unhurt child was turned over to the Department of Children and Families.


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