Baby’s skull fracture is being investigated after LAPD officer tackles a suspect for hitting and running

A 10-month-old baby was left with a skull fracture after an LAPD officer tackled his father to the ground last month after a hit-and-run crash and persecution, and police are reviewing the use of force, authorities said in this week.

The incident began around noon. 23:21 on Feb. 11 as gang enforcers in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Newton Division were about to end a traffic stop near 55th Street and Long Beach Avenue, said Captain Stacy Spell, a police spokesman.

Officers saw a silver-colored Jeep Wrangler with tinted windows being driven irregularly and moving toward the SUV to monitor it, Spell said.

The jeep’s driver, later identified as 25-year-old Los Angeles resident Josue Huerta, “was involved in a significant traffic collision with a large van,” the captain said.

Officers approached the crash site, but Huerta drove away and began an 11-minute chase, Spell said.

In a video released by the LAPD on Monday, camera footage of the pursuit shows damage to the Jeep’s side and right rear wheel, which was off the rim when Huerta stopped, jumped out of the SUV and started running down a path.

The officers can be seen on the camera footage of the car briefly checking inside the jeep before chasing the Huerta on foot.

Body camera footage shows several officers chasing Huerta on the trail.

One of the officers says, “I got him. I got him. I got him,” before passing the others and rounding a corner.

Huerta is ahead and continues to run away.

The officer shouts, “Stop. Police. Stop,” before getting him up on a lawn moments later.

“Without any officer knowing it, the suspect was holding a 10-month-old infant,” Spell said.

Huerta’s baby can be heard crying in the body camera video after the officer tackled them.

“I’m sorry, but I’m trying to take him home,” Huerta shouts, while an officer says, “Are you kidding me?”

One of the officers takes the baby from his father before others turn Huerta on his stomach and handcuff him.

Firefighters examined Huerta on the spot. He was not injured, Spell said.

“The child was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for a small skull fracture in the right side of his head,” the captain said. “The child was also tested positive for cocaine and fentanyl.”

The infant was hospitalized for further testing and released to his mother, Spell said. Investigators have not determined how the baby was injured.

Police did not answer questions Tuesday about what prompted authorities to test the infant for drugs or say whether the case was reported to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

“However, the incident is being investigated as a categorical use of force, because the use of force cannot be ruled out as the cause of the damage,” he says.

“We are still in the very early stages of this study, which can often take up to a year to complete,” Spell said.

Investigators found drugs, three unloaded 9-millimeter magazines and a large amount of cash on the spot, he said.

Huerta was charged on Feb. 15 with each case of aggravated child abuse, evasion and possession of drugs for sale, the captain said. He was also charged with a felony of assault.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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