Around the Region for Nov. 1

Published: Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 1:19 a.m.


Police chase man in car, on foot before arrest

A Waldo man who reportedly led police on a car chase and a foot chase, then fought with officers before being subdued with a Taser so he could be handcuffed, allegedly asked officers, "Why are you doing this to me? I've been drinking."

Gregory Allen Presley, 38, of Waldo was arrested and charged with DUI and resisting officers with and without violence.

According to Gainesville Police officers Jesse Bostick and Nick Byrd, an incident involving Presley began shortly before 4 a.m. Friday at 1300 SW 16th Ave. In an arrest report, Bostick wrote that Presley nearly hit Bostick's marked patrol car.

Bostick reportedly turned on his emergency lights and siren and pursued Presley. According to the officers, the chase eventually headed west on Archer Road and wound through the emergency room entrance to Shands at the University of Florida before coming to a halt at a dead end.

Bostick said Presley then fled on foot and refused to stop when ordered to do so. The officers said that, after they used a Taser on Presley, he attempted to pull out the Taser probes, then fought with Byrd and tried to grab Byrd's Taser while hitting him in the chest several times. After Presley was handcuffed, Bostick said he asked the officers, "Why are you doing this to me? I've been drinking," and claimed he drank one or two beers before encountering police.

Presley was being held at the Alachua County jail on Friday afternoon.

Karen Voyles

Police charge woman in hit-and-run at bus stop

A woman was arrested early Friday for an alleged hit-and-run accident at an RTS bus stop.

Lauren Ashlee Creamer, 22, 5115 SW 92nd Court, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving damage, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gainesville Police Officer Jonathan Cromwell said three witnesses reported that a white Toyota SUV nearly hit them in the 2300 block of Old Archer Road shortly before 3:30 a.m.

The witnesses said that the Toyota struck a bench and a trash can at the bus stop, coming within a few feet of hitting the closest witness. The witnesses also said the Toyota continued west to Oxford Manor apartments.

Cromwell reported finding a 2003 Toyota in the parking lot of the apartment complex that had "extensive front-end damage consistent with the crash."

When Creamer was questioned, Cromwell said she claimed to have hit a sign but kept going to her destination the apartment complex.

When Creamer was arrested in connection with the crash, Cromwell said a pipe containing marijuana residue was found in the Toyota between the front passenger seat and the center console.

Police said Creamer identified the pipe as hers and said she used it to smoke marijuana.

Creamer was being held at the Alachua County jail on Friday afternoon.

Karen Voyles

Mom arrested for using explosives near child

An Archer mother was arrested Thursday evening for reportedly making an explosive device and allowing it to detonate near her 3-year-old daughter.

Alachua County Sheriff's deputies charged Emily Beth Huff, 19, with child endangerment and with manufacturing and discharging explosive devices.

A man who was with Huff when she was arrested shortly after 7 p.m. at a home at 16493 SW 133rd Ave. was also implicated in the case. A sworn complaint was filed against Ronald Wilkerson, 35, for making explosive devices.

Deputies were dispatched to the Archer home because someone complained about what sounded like fireworks being ignited at the home.

According to the deputies, Huff and Wilkerson told them they had been lighting fireworks, but that they had used up everything they had. The deputies said they issued a verbal warning to the couple and were walking away from the scene when they heard a loud explosion from the area where Wilkerson had been standing.

"They (deputies) went back and found a 20-ounce plastic bottle had been blown up after it was used to create a small explosive device," said Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Steve Maynard. "There was a 3-year-old girl less than five feet from where this had been detonated, but even though she was that close, she was unharmed."

Maynard said that after Huff was arrested, she apparently told the deputies that she had made and detonated several of the explosive devices.

Karen Voyles

Police arrest man for sex with 17-year-old

Gainesville Police arrested a 47-year-old man for unlawful sexual activity with a minor Thursday.

John Ericson Blessed of Gainesville was being held at the Alachua County jail on Friday. A $25,000 bond had been set for his release, according to jail records.

Police allege Blessed, who is listed as a disc jockey, had a sexual relationship with a teenager that began earlier this year, an arrest report stated. The relationship began in May and continued into October.

When police interviewed Blessed, they reported that he admitted he had sex with the 17-year-old and knew the teenager's age.

Lise Fisher


UF ranked 2nd best value of public colleges

Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked the University of Florida No. 2 among the 100 best values in public colleges for 2009.

The rankings, released online Friday, mark the fourth year UF has been ranked second. A story on the ranking appears in the magazine's next issue, which hits newsstands Nov. 11.

The University of North Carolina placed No. 1 on the list. New College of Florida was ranked No. 8.

Kiplinger's examined more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities, ranking the schools by academic quality, cost and financial aid. The full list is available at

Nathan Crabbe

Buchholz band to play free Veterans Day show

The Buchholz High School Band and Aviance dance team will be performing a free Veterans Day Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the UF Phillips Center for Performing Arts. Patriotic band and jazz music will be performed. Tickets will be distributed at the Phillips Center beginning at 7 p.m. It is requested that individuals attending the concert bring one nonperishable food item to be distributed to local charities.

Staff report


Mom, 3 young children found dead in Fla. home

FLORAL CITY A mother and her three young sons on Friday were found shot dead in an apparent murder-suicide in a bucolic Florida community set amid farm fields, officials said. All of the children found in the home were under age 4.

The woman's distraught mother found the lifeless bodies in the bedroom of her beige ranch home hours after the shootings apparently took place, the Citrus County Sheriff's office said. The dead woman was identified as 23-year-old Alicia Chomic and officials said a firearm was recovered nearby.

The woman and the bodies of her two oldest sons, Thomas Goldsmith Jr., 3, and Damian Lietz, 2, were found together on a bed. Her youngest child, Anthony Lietz Jr., 15 months, was dead in the playpen, Sheriff Jeff Dawsy added.

The Associated Press

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