A father who said he intended to teach his preschooler to swim was arrested when horrified onlookers reported that he had thrown the child off the pier without appearing to provide any instruction.
John Bloodsworth is a 37-year-old father who lives in Daytona Beach, Florida.
On July 15, Bloodsworth brought his 5-year-old son to the Daytona Beach Boardwalk area of the coast. The boy’s dad allegedly planned to teach him how to swim in the ocean during their visit.
When they reached the beach, Bloodsworth reportedly headed to the end of the pier with his boy.
Diners at a restaurant located near the end of the pier, including an ex-Georgia state trooper, alleged that Bloodsworth lifted the child over the rail and threw him into the ocean below, failing to comply with the law stating that no one is allowed in the water within 300-feet of the structure.
While the boy was reportedly alone in the water Bloodsworth allegedly did a backflip off the pier and landed near his son.
The ex-trooper reported that he watched Bloodsworth swim up to the child and lift him up before throwing him back into the water. The father allegedly repeated the process for about 20 minutes.
The former law enforcement officer said he felt compelled to intervene, and he went onto the beach so he could interact with Bloodsworth. At the same time, people in the crowd of onlookers assisted the child out of the water. The boy was allegedly crying when the strangers approached him and removed him from the ocean.
When the ex-trooper spoke with Bloodsworth, he said he aggressively informed the man that he was going to take him to an officer and have him arrested for the way he was perceived to be treating his child.
A Daytona Beach police officer in the vicinity was asked to intervene, and the man handed Bloodsworth over and gave his account of the incident.
While talking to the officer, Bloodsworth, who allegedly had an alcohol odor emanating from him, reportedly said he was trying to help his son learn how to swim and he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.
It was reported that Bloodsworth admitted to drinking a few beers before leaving the house, and his demeanor was interpreted as if he was not taking the situation seriously.
Bloodsworth, who allegedly stated that he was being incarcerated for “being awesome,” was taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail in lieu of $1,500 bail after being charged for suspicion of aggravated child abuse, disorderly intoxication, and swimming too close to the pier.
In response to the swimming charge, Bloodsworth allegedly said he intended to return and “jump off the pier” daily. He was given a no-trespass warning as a result of his reported threat.
The child was reported as being in good health, and he was released into his mom’s custody.
If you or someone you love is suspected of child abuse, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.