DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (CBS Local News) — A father who allegedly threw his 5-year-old son off a pier into the ocean to teach him how to swim was arrested, police said.

Witnesses said John Bloodsworth, 37, took his son to the Daytona Beach Pier in Florida and threw him into the Atlantic Ocean and walked off, leaving the struggling child behind.

The boy was crying as beach goers dried him off and called police, according to the arrest report.

The child, who didn’t show any signs of injuries, was released to his mother.

“The little kid was out here by himself. Completely by himself. There was nobody around him, no adults,” Mitch Brown, a former Georgia state trooper who was on vacation with his family, told WESH.

Bloodsworth was reportedly seen illegally jumping off the pier multiple times before forcing his son into the waves while yelling at him to learn to swim.

“It looked like he was intoxicated,” Nate Poole, a witness, told WOFL.

Bloodsworth told police “he was going to jail for being awesome. And would bring his daughter next time to jump,” according to the arrest report.

Bloodsworth was charged with public intoxication, jumping off the pier and aggravated child abuse.