Toddler Dead After Dad Leads Police on Chase and Crashes
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A Texas man has been charged with murder after his toddler daughter died following a chase and standoff with police when he took the 2-year-old out of day care and confronted her mother at her workplace.
Deontray Flanagan was taken into custody after he crashed his car near St. Dustan’s Episcopal Church and a Harris County SWAT team surrounded him.
The little girl, identified by family as Zevaya Flanagan, was life-flighted to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The suspect Deontray Flanagan (2-9-98) has been charged with murder and booked in the Harris County Jail. #HouNews
— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) March 20, 2023
Sources told KTRK that the girl had severe head trauma, and Deontray Flanagan reportedly told police that his daughter sustained her injuries while being tossed around the vehicle during the chase.
The saga began at about 10:15 a.m. when Flanagan took Zevaya from her private daycare, then drove to a nearby Walmart, where the child’s mother works. According to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, he confronted the mother, threatening to harm the child if she didn’t give him her phone and passcode. She did so, then tried to rescue the child, but failed, as Flanagan allegedly hit her multiple times in the face and took off with her phone in a red Camaro.
Deputies were soon engaged in a chase. At one point, they said, the mother FaceTimed with the suspect and begged him to stop, but he refused.
Flanagan crashed into several other cars and came to a stop in a field near the church, prompting a 20-minute standoff before SWAT team members moved in, yanked Flanagan from the car and rushed the little girl away.
“As a father, as just a human being, for anyone to use a child, a precious defenseless child, just 2 years old. It just broke my heart to see her injured,” Gonzalez said.
According to KTRK, Flanagan’s criminal history dates back to at least 201, when he was charged with evading arrest. The following year, he was charged with assaulting a family member and served 30 days in jail, and he was still on probation after driving a car into someone’s home later that same year.
[Featured image: Zevaya Flanagan, left, and Deontray Flanagan/handouts]