Man arrested, accused of throwing baby over fence

- A Seminole County man is in jail on aggravated child abuse charges, after police say he tossed a four-month-old child over a fence.  

According to an arrest report, Winter Springs police officers were called to an apartment complex at 22 Pamview Court Thursday evening, where they found Richard Harris, 31, sitting on the ground without clothes.

Police say residents called 911 to report that they had seen a man, with a baby one minute, then naked and without the baby a few minutes later.

Michele Reaves lives down the street from the apartment complex.  She said she alerted police when she found a pair of pants in her yard.  “They said, ‘Have you seen a baby?” she said.

Reaves and an officer later heard crying and discovered a baby lying face down in in some brush.
Police believe Harris “threw the child blindly over the fence.”

“In such a horrible situation it was a blessing, I feel, that they found the baby when the found the baby and he was ok,” Reaves said.

She said she knows the mother and went with her to the hospital.  The baby was scratched up but is expected to be okay.

The public defender argued during Harris’ first appearance on Friday that the state did not have probably cause to charge Harris with aggravated child abuse.  He argued a lesser child abuse charge was more appropriated. 

Harris is expected to appear before a judge at the Seminole County Jail again on Saturday morning. 

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