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Father Tries to Use 5-Month-old Baby as Human Shield

January 12, 2015  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Father Tries to Use 5-Month-old Baby as Human Shield

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A 22-year-old who was suspected of domestic abuse, who was chased by police with his 5-month-old baby inside his vehicle,  from Long Beach to San Pedro Saturday in a pursuit ended with shots being exchanged on two different occasions with pursuing officers. Thankfully,  neither the infant nor the chased driver were hurt, police said.

According to  Nancy Pratt of the Long Beach Police Department, One Long Beach police officer suffered minor injuries in the second shootout, when glass shattered in a patrol car.

The incident occurred around  2 a.m. with reports of a possible shooting  during a domestic dispute at a home the suspect, whom hw shares with the mother of his son and other family members in the 6500 block of East Rosebay Street, Pratt said.

The suspect, is a parolee who is identified as Joseph Gonzales, had fled when police arrived, however, Gonzalez, then called the home and said he was on his way back with his infant son,  and was shouting threats man aimed at his family members and police officers, Pratt said.

“He specifically stated he would harm the baby and use him as a shield against police,” Pratt said.

The man then returned to the home in a dark-colored SUV, got out and immediately confronted officers, which lead to shots being exchanged, she said.

“The suspect then got back in his vehicle and fled, and officers initiated a vehicle pursuit,” Pratt said. “It was unknown if the baby was actually in the vehicle.”

A few blocks away in San Pedro, Gonzales stopped the SUV and fired shots again at officers, who returned fire, she said.

Gonzales then drove a short distance before he stopped and surrendered, Pratt said.

“The infant was located in the back seat of the suspect’s vehicle at the conclusion of the pursuit. Even though the baby was uninjured, he was transported to a local hospital as a precaution and released later to family in San Pedro.

Arresting officers discovered a handgun in the front seat of the suspect’s vehicle,” she said.

The injured officer was treated and released at a local  hospital, Pratt said.

Gonzales was charged with attempted murder, evading police, child cruelty that could result in possible injury or death, assault with a firearm on a police officer, being a felon in possession of a firearm and a parole violation, she said.

He is currently being held without bail at the Long Beach City Jail, Pratt said.

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