Dad throws toddler daughter over bridge to her death
When I first heard about this tragic story out of St. Petersburg, Florida, my heart just broke. I couldn't believe that a parent could be so careless over the life of a child they helped bring into this world. A 25-year-old father, John Jonchuck Jr., was stopped by a cop at a Tampa Bay bridge in Florida when he rushed over to the passenger side of his car, pulled out his 5-year-old daughter and then threw her over the bridge without a second thought. And then he just fled the scene!
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Jonchuck was caught speeding along the highway in St. Petersburg, Florida by an off-duty cop and was then chased to the Dick Misener Bridge where he tossed the little girl over the rail. She fell 60 feet into the water and found an hour later around 1 a.m. Thursday night about a mile from where she fell. Attempts to resuscitate the child were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, the monster took off as soon as he discarded his own child like a rag doll, but was later caught by two other police officers who'd heard the call come through about the incident. He's been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated fleeing and eluding, and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
This wouldn't be Jonchuck's first run-in with the law. He was arrested in 2010 and 2013 on battery domestic violence charges against his daughter's mother and again in 2013 for beating his own mother.
All the signs were there, so why did this monster still have access to his daughter? This little girl's life ended much too quickly and it's so sad to think that someone somewhere failed to protect her. She was an innocent life caught in the path of this madman's journey. Jonchuck has refused to take on a court-appointed attorney and said he'd like to leave his fate "in the hands of God." Well if there is one, I hope he delivers justice as well as comfort and peace to the family this little girl has left behind.
Images via Tamba Bay Times (screengrab), Handout