Father drowning child in tub was interrupted by Chicago cops tipped off by a suspicious Lyft driver: officials

CHICAGO — Tipped off by a suspicious Lyft driver, Chicago police officers kicked down a man’s apartment door and stopped him as he tried to drown his 2-year-old son in the bathtub, according to prosecutors.

Jeremiah Campbell, 29, is being held without bail on charges of attempted murder and for violating probation in a 2021 domestic battery case involving the boy’s mother.

The Lyft driver called 911 as soon as he dropped Campbell and the child off at Campbell’s home in the 7700 block of South South Shore around 10 a.m. on August 25, a CPD arrest report said.

In the 911 call, the driver said he was concerned about things the father said while riding in his car, “talking about conspiracies and drowning his son… as a sacrifice to Jehovah,” according to the police report.

Around the time of the driver’s call, 911 operators received another call from a man reporting that his 2-year-old son had drowned in the bathtub at the same address the Lyft driver gave.

After getting no answer to knocks on the door, Chicago police officers peered into the apartment windows and saw a man bending over a bathtub and making “suspicious movements,” the report continued.

The cops immediately forced the apartment door open, believing they were witnessing a drowning in progress.

As soon as they entered, the report said, Campbell pulled the 2-year-old from the bathtub.

“Coughs could be heard coming from” the boy who was “coughing up water,” police reported. They handed the boy off to paramedics, who took him to a hospital for treatment.

Prosecutors said Campbell was with the boy even though an active order of protection barred him from being with the child.

Jeremiah Campbell | Lyft; Cook County sheriff’s office

Judge Ankur Srivastava issued the no-bail hold against Campbell. He’s charged with attempted first-degree murder, child endangerment, and violating an order of protection.

Campbell is on 36 months probation for an April 2021 incident involving the boy’s mother and a man who tried to intervene in a domestic altercation, according to court records.

A Chicago police report documenting that incident said the couple was arguing about child support when Campbell shoved her head-first into a wall and pulled her from a bed by both feet, causing her to land on the floor on her back.

When a man tried to break the couple up, Campbell bit his nose, tearing flesh from the man’s nostril and biting two fingers, the report said. Campbell also threatened to kill both victims with a knife he took from the kitchen, but his wife persuaded him to put the blade down, the report said.

He pleaded guilty to aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and domestic battery in November 2021.

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