A father allegedly tried used a baby as a human shield in a violent police shootout. The man was chased by police from Long Beach to San Pedro Saturday in a pursuit that My Fox 11 in Los Angeles reports, “included at least two shootouts.”
The baby and suspect were unharmed, but one Long Beach police officer sustained minor injuries in the second shootout. The injuries resulted from from glass shattered in a patrol car, according to Nancy Pratt of the Long Beach Police Department.
The shootouts began at 2 a.m. during a domestic dispute at the suspect’s home in Long Beach, which he shares with his son’s mother and other family members. When police arrived at the house, the suspect had left. He called the home and threatened family and police. Authorities say that the suspect had his 5-month-old son in the car with him.
Police are identifying the suspect as 22-year-old Joseph Gonzales, a parolee. What he threatened to do was shocking to everyone.
“He specifically stated he would harm the baby and use him as a shield against police,” Pratt said.
Gonzales came back in a dark-colored SUV, stepped out of it, and exchanged gun fire with police after confronting them. He then fled the scene in his vehicle and officers chased him. He later stopped and fired his weapon at police in San Pedro. Officers fired back at Gonzales before getting back in the SUV and driving off again. He drove a short distance then parked and surrendered to officers.
Pratt says that the infant was sitting in the back seat of Gonazles’ vehicle the entire time. He was unharmed, but was taken to the hospital for evaluation and released to family later on.
A handgun was found in the front passenger seat of the SUV.
Gonzales was booked on a number of charges consisting of “suspicion of 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,” Pratt says.
Gonzales is being held without bail at the Long Beach City Jail.
In 2013, a shoplifter in Florida threatened police by using her 3-month-old daughter, the Smoking Gun reports. The woman had no interest in protecting her infant when she told police they had to hurt the child to get her.
“You will have to shoot through the baby to get me!” Ashley Taylor Wright, 23, yelled at police.
She was charged with felony child abuse, petty theft, and resisting an officer.
[Image via My Fox 11]