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An Oakland, California man is under arrest for tossing his baby daughter into oncoming traffic late in the afternoon of July 10. An off-duty police officer says he saw 21 year-old John Taylor shake his 18 month-old daughter and then toss her into a lane of traffic on Fifth Avenue near East 15th Street in Oakland.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, the little girl was hit by a car, but was pulled from underneath by the officer and a neighbor, Diana Castro, who had heard the commotion. Castro pulled the child from under a Jetta driven by an elderly couple. The little girl was burned, cut and bruised, but crying, which Castro was relieved to hear.
"When I took the baby, it continued crying and I thought, that's a good sign. She's still breathing in. She was so scared, she was grabbing my neck and couldn't stop crying. I was asking people, 'Whose baby is this?' and nobody knew," Castro told the Mercury.
In the meantime, her father had taken off down the street pounding cars and kicking in a windshield as he went. The officer caught up with him nearby in a fight with some drivers who had pulled over to help after, according to investigators on the case, Taylor tried to steal a car.
Taylor struggled with officers as well and was subdued by a Taser.
It is still unclear what caused Taylor to act in this way. Some reports, such as that by CBS, say the family says Taylor suffers from PTSD. One report by local TV station, KTVU, quotes the little girl's mother as saying Taylor would never hurt the child, "no matter if he was taking his medicine or not."
Taylor has been charged with willful cruelty to a child, vandalism, resisting arrest and battery on a police officer. According to the Mercury, the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information can contact Oakland police at 510-238-3821.