Girl, 5, dies after her own dad tosses her off Florida bridge, police say

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ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — Police say a 25-year-old Tampa man faces a first-degree murder charge after throwing his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge.

John Jonchuck Jr. was arrested early Thursday after a St. Petersburg police officer saw him throw the child into Tampa Bay. Police say rescuers pulled Phoebe Jonchuck from the water, but she died shortly before 3 a.m.

Mugshot

John Nicholas Jonchuck, Jr. (Credit: Pinellas County Jail)

 

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

Police say 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.

He faces additional charges, including aggravated assault with a motor vehicle on a law enforcement officer.