Police: Girl, 5, dies after being thrown from Florida bridge

This image provided by the Pinellas County Jail shows a booking photo of John Nicholas Jonchuck Jr. The 25 year-old faces a first-degree murder charge after throwing his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge on the approach to the Sunshine Skyway early Thursday morning Jan. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Pinellas County Jail)
This image provided by the Pinellas County Jail shows a booking photo of John Nicholas Jonchuck Jr. The 25 year-old faces a first-degree murder charge after throwing his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge on the approach to the Sunshine Skyway early Thursday morning Jan. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Pinellas County Jail)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – A 25-year-old Tampa man faces a first-degree murder charge after authorities say he threw his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge on the approach to the Sunshine Skyway early Thursday morning.

A St. Petersburg police officer who was heading home just after midnight tried to stop a PT Cruiser that passed him going about 100 mph. The officer said the car stopped on the approach to the Skyway bridge and he saw a man get out and throw a child over the rail into Tampa Bay. The officer said the man then got back into his car and drove south.

Rescue crews arrived and pulled the little girl from the water. But Phoebe Jonchuk died at 2:44 a.m. at a hospital. Her father, John Jonchuk, was stopped by Manatee Sheriff’s deputies about 30 minutes later.

He was returned to St. Petersburg for questioning and was being booked into the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday morning.

St. Petersburg police spokeswoman Yolando Fernandez said rescuers tried to resuscitate the child.

Jonchuk also faces charges of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle on a law enforcement officer and aggravated fleeing and eluding police.

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