OCSO: DeFuniak Springs man used infant as shield

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Zachary Taylor McKinney

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) — A DeFuniak Springs man used an infant as a shield in a failed attempt to avoid arrest, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

The infant was not injured during the incident.

Zachary Taylor McKinney, 31, was pulled over on Interstate 10 near the 58-mile marker around 10:15 p.m. due to concerns regarding a child custody/Baker Act issue, deputies wrote. Once stopped, he refused to obey basic commands and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics. McKinney also refused to release the infant, using the victim as a shield, deputies wrote.

The OCSO Special Tactics Unit ultimately recovered the baby safely and took McKinney into custody. McKinney was taken to North Okaloosa Medical Center in Crestview for evaluation. When being transferred from the hospital to the Okaloosa County Jail, McKinney kicked, scratched, and attempted to bite deputies, deputies wrote. Due to his elevated vitals and mannerisms, he was taken back to the hospital where during a procedure he attacked a medical staff member, choking him and shoving his fingers into his mouth, causing injuries to the medical staffer’s face, neck, mouth, and abdomen, deputies wrote.

McKinney is charged with battery on a law enforcement officer as well as battery on a health care professional. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has also charged him with false imprisonment of a child under the age of 13, child abuse, and resisting arrest.

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