John Bloodsworth allegedly did back flips off a Daytona Beach pier while his son struggled to swim in the water below

By Harriet Sokmensuer
July 18, 2019 01:37 PM
Volusia County Corrections/AP/Shutterstock

A Florida father has been arrested after allegedly getting drunk and throwing his 5-year-old son into the ocean to “teach him to swim.”

On Monday night, a Daytona Beach police officer got a tip about an intoxicated man at the local pier. According to local TV-station WESH, a former Georgia State Trooper on vacation with his family watched the man allegedly throw his son into the ocean, yell at him to swim and then proceed to leave him unattended while he jumped off the pier into the water.

“I said, ‘I can’t take this no more.’ So I went down to the pier, down to the shore and confronted him myself,” Mitch Brown told the station. “The little kid was out here by himself. Completely by himself. There was nobody around him, no adults.”

Brown approached the man, John Bloodsworth, and brought him to a nearby Daytona police officer.

As Bloodsworth’s son was comforted by several people nearby, 37-year-old Bloodsworth told the officer he was trying to “teach him to swim,” according to a police report obtained by the Daytona Beach News-Journal and Fox13.

Witnesses told the officer the boy struggled to swim in the water, which was about four feet deep, and when he tried to swim towards his father on shore, Bloodsworth yelled at him to “go back.”

Bloodsworth also allegedly did back flips off the pier while his son struggled down below.

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He allegedly told the officer he had consumed five beers before going to the beach. As he was arrested, Bloodsworth didn’t show concern for his son, instead allegedly saying he was “going to jail for being awesome,” the report states.

Bloodsworth faces charges of aggravated abuse of a child, disorderly intoxication and swimming within 300 feet of the pier. 

In addition to the charges, Bloodsworth was issued a trespass notice barring him from returning to the pier. Officials issued the notice after Bloodsworth allegedly told them he wanted to continue jumping off the pier every day, but that next time he would go with his daughter.

The little boy is now with his mother.

Attorney information was unavailable Thursday. On Tuesday, Bloodsworth was released from Volusia County Branch Jail after posting $1,500 bail.

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