Around the Region

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 12:08 a.m.

Officials searching for missing children

Officials are currently searching for two Alachua County residents who fled the area with three children when allegations of child abuse arose.

According to a statewide missing child alert, the three children have been missing since Jan. 22 and are in the company of Rachel Coulliette, 29, and Jimmy Dean Ruffner, 23, who are listed as residents of Waldo.

The children are identified as Gabrielle Holland, 4, Sebastian Lee, 8, and Tristen Julius Ruffner, who is 3 months old.

Sgt. Keith Faulk with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office said the two Waldo residents are the mother and stepfather of the three children, and that the couple fled with the children after they learned of an investigation of possible child abuse.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of this family is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (352) 955-1818.

- Alice Wallace

Police arrest man after he ran from officer

Gainesville Police arrested a local man after they said he struck an officer and then fled into woods near NW 43rd Street after an attempted traffic stop Tuesday evening.

Dramaine Johnson, 32, of Gainesville was being held at the Alachua County jail Wednesday on charges of drug possession, resisting an officer both with and without violence, fleeing and eluding police, and driving with a suspended driver's license, jail records showed. A $50,000 bond had been set on the charges.

Officer Justin Bayless-Sakelarious attempted to stop a vehicle in the 5400 block of NW 43rd Street at about 5 p.m., said Sgt. Steve Baker. Instead, the driver pulled into the Mile Run subdivision and onto a dead-end street.

The man attempted to run and struggled with the officer, punching him in the head and face, Baker said. The man then ran into the woods.

Several residents either saw or heard the struggle and called 911, then attempted to help police search for the man, Baker said. They located him hiding in the woods near a church in the 4000 block of NW 53rd Avenue.

Police reported the man wouldn't come out of the woods and instead went deeper into the undergrowth.

Cpl. Tim Durst and his police dog Grady, a German shepherd, eventually located the man, Baker said. Johnson was bitten on the leg by the police dog and taken to the North Florida Regional Medical Center for treatment before he was booked into the jail, according to police.

Officers found several baggies of marijuana inside the vehicle that Johnson had been driving, Baker said.

- Lise Fisher

Lake City Police find escaped Ga. inmate

Lake City Police located a man early Wednesday who is wanted after escaping from the Georgia Department of Corrections last month.

Police found David Lee Sweet, 51, hiding in woods near the Longhorn Saloon, 723 NE Duval St., at about 3:30 a.m.

An officer had been checking the business because of recent burglaries at the building and found new damage indicating someone may have tried to break in.

A search uncovered a man nearby who was wearing gloves and items officers described as burglary tools, officers reported. The man confessed to an attempted burglary but gave different names to officers. He eventually was identified as Sweet, who escaped from custody in Valdosta, Ga., on Dec. 3, 2007.

Sweet is facing charges in Columbia County for burglary, possession of burglary tools and resisting arrest without violence.

Georgia corrections records show Sweet has a criminal history dating back to the late 1970s with charges including robbery and burglary.

- Lise Fisher

Man accused in sex act with teen held at jail

A Gainesville man was being held at the Alachua County jail this week after police accused him of having sexual contact with a teenager.

Kerry L. Creech, 31, is accused of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, according to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report. A $50,000 bond had been set for his release, jail records showed.

Creech, who also is known as DJ Kniro, was booked into the jail Monday after he was arrested for allegedly having sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl, police reported. A witness told police the two were seen engaging in a sex act in October 2007.

- Lise Fisher

UFPD files complaint in exposure case

University of Florida Police have filed a sworn complaint against a man they allege exposed himself to two students at a campus library last week.

Officers filed the complaint against Gene Walker Moore, 41, of Gainesville on misdemeanor charges of exposure of sexual organs and trespass after warning, UFPD reported Wednesday.

Two female students studying at the library in Norman Hall on Jan. 23 said a man had exposed himself. They reported the incident, but the man had left by the time officers arrived.

The two women provided a description of the man, and officers filed the sworn complaint against Moore after he was identified in a photo lineup.

- Lise Fisher

UF to offer free hearing screenings

Concerned about your hearing? The University of Florida speech and hearing clinic is offering free hearing screenings to the public on selected Thursdays, beginning today.

Free hearing screenings will be offered from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at 1405 NW 13th St., Suites B and C. They will also be available on the following dates: Feb. 7, Feb. 14, Feb. 28, March 6, March 20, March 27, April 10, April 17 and April 24. No appointment is necessary.

An annual hearing checkup is recommended for those aged 45 and up, according to UF audiologists.

Common symptoms of hearing loss include: ringing in the ears, frequently asking others to repeat themselves, having a difficult time understanding others without wearing glasses or looking the subject directly in the face, difficulty following a group conversation and complaints from others about the volume level of radios or televisions.

- Diane Chun

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top