DCF changing abuse hotline criteria after girl thrown from bridge | News – Home

DCF changing abuse hotline criteria after girl thrown from bridge

The Florida Department of Children and Families is changing its abuse hotline criteria after a man threw his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge.

DCF Secretary Mike Carroll announced the changes Thursday.

If a caregiver is believed to be experiencing a psychotic episode, a child protective investigator would have to visit the child within four hours of a call.

St. Petersburg police said John Jonchuck Jr. threw his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge late Wednesday night.

An officer was heading home about midnight when he saw a speeding car and tried to pull it over.

Police said Jonchuck stopped on a bridge on the approach to the Sunshine Skyway and threw the child over the rail. He returned to his car, drove south and was arrested about 30 minutes later in Manatee County.

Rescuers pulled Phoebe Jonchuck from the water, but she later died.

The DCF received a call to the abuse hotline at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday “regarding the mental health of Phoebe’s father.” The anonymous caller said Jonchuck was “depressed and delusional.”
During his initial appearance before a judge, Jonchuck waived his right to a court-appointed attorney.

“Are you sure?” the judge asked.

“I want to leave it in the hands of God,” Jonchuck replied

How We Can Help
If you, a friend or a family member find themselves in a situation such as this, please call the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A. at 305 670-3330 right away. Scott A. Ferris, Esq. is a licensed family law attorney who has been practicing law since 1987. He is available whenever you need him to pursue your rights. Please learn about our firm at www.FerrisLawFirm.com.