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Deputies: Teen tried to suffocate infant in parking lot

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A 19-year-old Cocoa woman who made suicidal threats on social media was arrested after a deputy spotted her appearing to suffocate her 6-month-old in a parking lot, officials said.

Aniyah Thomas

Deputies said Aniyah Thomas made threats on Facebook that indicated she was going to try and hurt herself and the infant. It was unclear who took custody of the child after Thomas’ arrest.

Thomas was ordered to not have any further contact with the infant during her first court appearance, records show. The child’s condition was not immediately known.

Deputies arrested Thomas, of Brevard County, on charges of child abuse and resisting arrest without violence. Thomas was held Friday at the Indian River County Jail on $51,000 bond.

The incident unfolded about 8 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of Walmart, 5555 20th Street. Brevard County deputies pinged Thomas’ phone to help an Indian River deputy track the woman’s 2004 Chevrolet Impala, reports show.

When an Indian River deputy approached the vehicle, Thomas reclined the driver’s seat and placed the infant down on her chest, reports show. Thomas wrapped her arms around the infant and began to squeeze the child, authorities said.

The deputy ordered Thomas to stop and open the door, but she refused. The deputy shattered the driver’s side window of the vehicle and grabbed the infant from Thomas, reports show.

The deputy removed Thomas from the car and placed her in handcuffs.

Thomas was arrested and taken to the county jail. Thomas has an arraignment at 8:45 a.m. July 3, court records show.


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