Oakland man arrested after child thrown in traffic

July 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A horrifying incident was witnessed by people in Oakland on Saturday, including an off-duty police officer. The officer saw a man shake a toddler violently and then hurl her into oncoming traffic. She was run over near Lake Merritt.

The incident happened at around 5:30 p.m. at 5th Avenue and 15th Street. Witnesses say they are having a tough time recovering from what they saw.

"It was shocking. It was incredibly shocking," said witness Raymond Pisano. I'm running across the street and I'm screaming. The whole thing was horrifying."

Pisano heard the toddler crying and saw her underneath the car. His wife did what she could for the child.

"I saw the baby kind of appear underneath the car," he said. "As the car's passing I could see her and right when it stopped my wife gets there, gets underneath the car and takes her out."

Pisano then saw the child's father running down the street, slamming himself into cars. When police arrived, they used a Taser to subdue him.

The child's uncle, Demarion English, says he is having a hard time believing his brother would hurt the little girl, and says his brother has had a rough life.

"He has PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder," said English. "We've been in group homes for a long time... they use us as guinea pigs giving us medication."

Pisano says the little girl is doing well.

"From what I understand she's out of the hospital," he said. "My wife, after holding her her, assumed that the way she was moving that there was nothing broken. She had some contusions and bruises."

The child suffered burns from the car's engine, but escaped major injuries and is expected to be OK.

The suspect has been identified as John Taylor. He was booked into jail on several charges, including child endangerment.


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