Report: Man uses infant as shield during traffic stop

Special to the Daily News
Walton Sun

CRESTVIEW—A DeFuniak Springs man used an infant as a shield against law officers during a traffic stop on Interstate 10 on Monday night, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

During the 10:15 p.m. stop just east of State Road 85, Zachary Taylor McKinney, 31, also refused to obey commands and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics, a press release from the Sheriff’s Office said.

He was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on a health care professional, false imprisonment of a child under the age of 13, child abuse and resisting arrest, the release said.

McKinney was pulled over because of concerns about a child custody/Baker Act issue.

He refused to release the infant and used the child as a shield, the release said.

The Sheriff’s Office’s 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 he was transferred from the hospital to the Okaloosa County Jail, McKinney kicked, scratched and tried to bite deputies.

Due to his elevated vitals and mannerisms, he was taken back to the hospital, the release said.

During a procedure, he choked and shoved his fingers into the moth of a hospital staff member, causing injuries to the staffer’s face, neck, mouth and abdomen, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

The infant was not injured during the incident.