Florida

Florida man wants to teach his 5-year-old how to swim — so he throws him in the ocean

John Forrest Bloodsworth’s booking photo on July 16, 2019, in Daytona Beach.
John Forrest Bloodsworth’s booking photo on July 16, 2019, in Daytona Beach. Volusia County Jail

Memo to would-be swim “instructors.” Throwing your student into the deep end and telling that person to ‘sink or swim’ has never been appropriate.

Not even when it’s your own 5-year-old son.

The strategy, beyond being cruel and ineffective, didn’t work for a Daytona Beach father Monday when he was arrested and charged with third-degree felony child abuse that could cause physical or mental injury, disorderly intoxication and for swimming and diving from a pier in which such activities are posted as forbidden.

According to court records John Forrest Bloodsworth, 37, was arrested and booked by Volusia County sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday after witnesses saw him jumping off the Main Street Pier in Daytona Beach while his child was left to fend for himself in the water.

According to witnesses, Bloodsworth threw the boy into the waves and told him to “learn to swim,” WESH 2 reported.

Witness Mitch Brown, a former Georgia State trooper who was vacationing in Daytona Beach, told WESH 2 he confronted Bloodsworth when he saw him leaping off the pier while the boy bobbed in the waves.

““The little kid was out here by himself. Completely by himself. There was nobody around him, no adults,” Brown told the station.

Some beach goers eventually got the boy out of the water and watched as Bloodsworth continued to jump from the pier, WOFL Fox 35 reported. Bloodsworth told them he was “trying to teach his son to swim.”

Brown alerted a Daytona Beach police officer, who arrested Bloodsworth.

Bloodsworth, who was arrested on a domestic violence simple battery charge in December 2018, was released from jail after posting $3,200 bond.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
Support my work with a digital subscription
SUBSCRIBE TODAY
  Comments