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Man throws baby at deputy after Indian River County chase

John James III arrested on felony charges
Dash cam video of John James III arrest after throwing baby at deputy
Posted at 5:04 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 23:19:18-04

VERO BEACH, Fla. — A 32-year-old man was arrested after he led deputies on a chase through Gifford and then threw a baby at a deputy, according to the Indian River County Sheriff's Office.

John James III faces several felony charges, including aggravated child abuse, reckless driving, resisting arrest with violence and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.

Dashboard camera and helicopter video released Friday showed the driver of a white sport utility vehicle speeding through Gifford with deputies in pursuit on the evening of May 26.

Deputies said the driver, later identified as James, refused to stop for a traffic violation along State Road 60 in Vero Beach, leading deputies on a chase.

During the pursuit, the SUV struck the front of a detective's vehicle and dodged roadblocks.

Eventually, James drove to an apartment complex, where he became boxed in and bailed out of the vehicle.

As he was getting out of the SUV, James threw a 2-month-old infant at a deputy, Sheriff Eric Flowers said.

"You can't throw a baby at us and expect us to treat you with kid gloves," Flowers said in a statement.

James then ran away and tried to hide from deputies, who took him to the ground. That's when he kicked and bit at them as deputies tried to take him into custody.

Deputies said James, who complained of asthma and said he couldn't breathe, continued resisting as he was being placed on a stretcher to be taken to a hospital.

He was released from the hospital Tuesday after being treated for a pre-existing condition and booked into jail.