A man in South Africa has been arrested and charged with attempted murder after he threw his 6-month-old daughter off the roof of his home during a police standoff.
Video footage posted on Facebook shows the moment that the 38-year-old man, who has not been named, dangles his infant daughter by the ankle over the edge of the roof as dozens of bystanders crowd around, some heard encouraging the father with chants of "Throw, throw, throw!"
The incident occurred amid protests against the demolition of dozens of shacks built illegally on municipal land at the Joe Slovo township in Kwadwesi, near Port Elizabeth on South Africa's eastern cape coast, according to The Herald.
The South African Police Service had been sent to the township to ensure the safety of the demolition team as roughly 150 protesters began dangerous rioting that included throwing bricks and closing off roads with burning tires.
"At about 10.40am a 38-year-old man climbed onto the roof of one of the structures and held a one-year-old girl in his hands. This was done to force the team not to demolish the structure. Due to the dangerous threat to the safety of the child police set out a plan to rescue the little girl and arrest the male and one of our officers successfully caught the girl as she was flung," police spokesman Capt. Andre Beetge told local media, according to the Daily Mail.
"The 38-year-old father has been charged with the attempted murder of his daughter and the case is being handled by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit."
The man had reportedly climbed onto the roof of his shack just as officers had begun returning calm to the demolition project. Negotiators, however, were unsuccessful in talking the man, who had been threatening to throw his daughter, down.
"It is shocking that a father would attempt to sacrifice his own child for the sake of delaying the demolishing of an illegal shack structure but thankfully the girl was saved. The father will face the full force of the Law for his actions," the Motherwell Cluster Commander Major General Dawie Rabie said.0comments
The baby girl was handed back to her 35-year-old mother following the incident and the case is currently being overseen by local service officials to ensure the infant's safety.
Following the incident and the man's arrest, the demolition team was successful in their demolition of the 90 illegally built shacks.