Jonesboro, AR – A child custody exchange turned violent on April 29, when a man stabbed his toddler and the girl’s mother with a steak knife, bodycam footage showed (video below).
The incident occurred just before 7 p.m., when Jonesboro police officers went to the apartment of 37-year-old Theodis Coleman to conduct a civil standby while a woman picked up her 2-year-old daughter, Arkansas Online reported.
The woman told investigators that Coleman had threatened her earlier in the day, and that he told her he would kill her and her family if she tried to take the child back into her care.
Bodycam footage showed the woman as she entered the apartment with the officers.
Coleman, who was seen carrying the couple’s child, complained about the officers’ presence, then walked down a hallway as the woman followed behind him.
Coleman walked into a room at the end of the hallway, and set the toddler on the ground.
“You didn’t have to call no police,” Coleman said, as the woman lifted the little girl into her arms.
Without notice, Coleman lunged at the woman with a knife raised above his head, the video showed.
According to police, the blade sliced through the toddler’s arm, and went into the woman’s arm, Arkansas Online reported.
The officer immediately drew his weapon, and screamed at Coleman to get onto the ground, while the woman ran out of the apartment with their child.
Coleman complied, and was quickly taken into custody.
“He just stabbed me,” she said, as her child wailed.
“My baby’s f*****g bleeding!” the woman realized. “The f**k’s wrong with you?”
“She’s been doin’ me like this for two years, and I’m tired of it,” Coleman complained, as the officer led him to a waiting patrol vehicle.
With Coleman secured, one of the officers broke away and rushed to the little girl’s aid.
“Go to my car. Go to my car,” he instructed the toddler’s aunt, who was carrying the bleeding child. “Start EMS.”
“Hold her arm. Put pressure on it,” he told the frantic woman. “Hold pressure, okay?”
The officer rummaged through a first aid kit, and quickly began unwrapping supplies.
“Oh sir, it is bleeding so bad. I feel it!” she said desperately. “I feel it running in my hands.”
“I know. Hold it. Hold it tight,” he responded calmly.
The toddler wailed uncontrollably, as her blood began to pool on the hood of the officer’s patrol car.
The officer retrieved a tourniquet from the kit.
“This is going to hurt your baby,” he cautioned the child’s aunt.
“I don’t care,” she responded. “It’s probably going to save her life the way she’s bleeding.”
The woman helped to restrain the frightened child, and the officer applied the tourniquet to the little girl’s right arm.
“This is going to hurt, baby. I’m sorry,” the officer told the toddler. “I know baby, this hurts. I know it hurts.”
“It’s okay. It’s okay. I’ve got you,” he told her, while the girl’s aunt unleashed on the child’s mother.
“I’ve been telling you the same s**t for years,” she said. “I told your a**, ‘Don’t let her go with no one.’”
“If a person tell you every time they tell you what they gonna do to you, and what they gonna do to your baby, anytime a motherf**ker tell me they gonna kill me, my baby, and themselves, I’m gonna believe them,” the girl’s aunt continued. “They ain’t gotta tell me a thousand god**ned times.”
The child was subsequently flown to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Arkansas Online reported.
She and her mother were expected to make full recoveries.
The Jonesboro Police Department hailed the officers’ “discernment and quick actions,” and noted that the training they received from the Stop the Bleeding Foundation and the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield was instrumental in helping the toddler and her mother, according to their Facebook post.
His court appearance has been scheduled for June 29.
Watch the stabbing, and the officer’s heroic efforts to help the child, in the video below. WARNING - Graphic Content: