PANAMA CITY — After he sank a boat and had been pulled to shore, the crowds that watched from the patios of two restaurants cheered, and Jonathan Byers took a bow.

It’s unlikely the crowd was cheering for Byers, who was near the end of an alleged crime spree that Panama City police believe included burning a trailer and resulted in an Amber Alert and the near drowning of his son. More likely is that the crowd cheered for Capt. Keith Butchikas and his buddy, who pulled Byers and his 3-year-old son, Austin Byers, from the water.

Butchikas, who runs Island Stylin’ Adventures, didn’t know at the time about the Amber Alert, or that the helicopter he’d been seeing that afternoon was looking for Byers, or that Byers was suspected of setting his girlfriend’s home on fire about two hours earlier. Still, Byers’ showmanship ticked him off.

“I wanted to smack him,” Butchikas said. “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? You’re taking a bow? You just about drowned your kid.’ ”

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