Man accused of throwing toddler while trying to run from police

Misty Coffey says police showed up at her house Saturday night on East Pittsburg Church Road in Laurel county, with their attention focused squarely on her boyfriend, 25-year-old Larry Cunnigan.

“We had bought a 4-wheeler off somebody,” Coffey said.

The problem was, police say that ATV was stolen, and police say Cunnigan shouldn’t have had it. Police also say what troubled them even more is what they say Cunnigan did with the 2-year-old, who is Coffey's son, that was on the 4-wheeler with him.

“When he saw the deputies he throwed the child to the ground, jumped on the 4-wheeler, threw it in reverse and tried to get away,” said Deputy Gilbert Acciardo with the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office.

The toddler wasn’t hurt, but police say Cunnigan’s actions were dangerous.

“I’m sure he wasn’t thinking, I’m sure he was scared, but I’m sure he had no regard for the child,” said Acciardo.

Cunnigan at first agreed to talk to reporters from inside the Laurel County Jail, but then he changed his mind. But his girlfriend has a much different account of what happened on the 4–wheeler, than what police are saying.

Coffey says her son was never thrown. She claims her boyfriend was the one roughed up by police.

“It was right here..they take it and sling him (Cunnigan) down. When they did, they were trying to hand me the kid. The baby never hit the ground or anything. They took him and plowed his face into the thing right here,” Coffey said.

But police say more than one officer clearly saw the child tossed off the vehicle.

“It was bad enough that the officers made the charge of endangering the welfare of a minor,” said Acciardo.

It was bad enough to put Cunnigan in jail, where he’s also charged with receiving stolen property and fleeing or evading police.

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