Girl dies after being thrown from Florida bridge
A 25-year-old Tampa man faces a first-degree murder charge after throwing his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge, police said.
John Jonchuck Jr. was arrested early Thursday after a St. Petersburg police officer saw him throw the child into Tampa Bay.
Police said rescuers pulled Phoebe Jonchuk from the water, but she died shortly before 3 a.m.
Phoebe Jonchuck was killed after police say her father threw her off a bridge near the Sunshine Skyway.
The 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.
“I’ve been doing this job about 29 years and I don’t even know what’s going through this guy’s mind,” St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway said.
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.
He faces additional charges, including aggravated assault with a motor vehicle on a law enforcement officer.
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