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5 Year-old Girl Dies After Being Thrown From Bridge Into Tampa Bay

January 8, 2015  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
5 Year-old Girl Dies After Being Thrown From Bridge Into Tampa Bay

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A 5-year-old girl has died after being thrown from a bridge into Tampa Bay and a suspect believed to be her father is in custody, St. Petersburg police said early Thursday.

The incident just after midnight occurred, rescuers who pulled the girl from the water attempted to resuscitate her, but tragically she was pronounced dead at the hospital at 2:44am.

According to Tampa Bay Police spokesman Yolanda Fernandez,  John Nicholas Jonchuck, 25 was reportedly witnessed by a St. Petersburg police officer throwing his 5 year-old daughter Phoebe over the side of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, falling 60 feet into Tampa bay.

The police officer told investigators as he was headed home in the southbound lane when he witnessed a white PT cruiser passed him going around 100 mph, once he reached the top of the bridge, he said the PT Cruiser stopped.

St.Petersburg Chief of Police Anthony Holloway says that Jonchuck got out of the vehicle and started toward the officer who pulled his weapon, however Jonchuck instead went around to the passenger door and the child got out.

The officer then saw Jonchuck throw the little girl over the side of the bridge into the strong current, he then got back in his vehicle and sped off.

He drove south for about 30 minutes until deputies stopped him near an exit in Manatee County.

Holloway said Jonchuck turn his blinker on and stopped before driving towards the deputies, he then drove on the wrong side of the interstate heading back toward the bridge, he was only stopped when police placed traffic to disable his vehicle.

Jonchuck was brought back to St. Petersburg police station where he was charged in the murder of his daughter and also aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a vehicle.

He was uncooperative when investigators questioned him, Holloway said, “he didn’t want to talk, he just lawyered up.”

Jonchuck is being held without bail, an autopsy is pending on the little girl.


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