Around the Region - Jan. 9


Published: Friday, January 9, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 9, 2009 at 2:52 a.m.

POLICE BEAT

DUI case involves a revoked license

A Gainesville man whose license was permanently revoked in November for drunken driving was arrested for DUI early Wednesday after his blood alcohol level was calculated at three times the legal limit.

Kaiser Lee Pontoon, 54, of 4000 SW 74th St., was charged with DUI fourth or subsequent offense and with driving on a permanently revoked driver's license.

Alachua County Sheriff's Deputy Nick Vickers said he noticed Pontoon when he saw a 2001 Chevrolet truck on NE 39th Avenue around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday. Vickers said he saw the eastbound truck veer into the westbound lane. Pontoon's breath tests recorded his blood alcohol level at .246 and .254. Under Florida law, a driver is presumed drunk when their blood alcohol level reaches .08.

Alachua County court records show Pontoon's license was permanently revoked on Nov. 21.

Bond for Pontoon was set at $200,000. He was being held at the Alachua County jail on Thursday.

Karen Voyles

Report: Man had on stolen shoes

A 22-year-old Chiefland man with an extensive history of drug convictions may have been trying to branch out into another line of work this week. The man was found hiding in a bedroom wearing a pair of tennis shoes that had been reported stolen in a robbery, authorities say.

Timothy Neal, 22, was arrested and charged with robbery.

According to the Levy County Sheriff's Office, Neal and another person were inside a house near Bronson on Tuesday when they robbed a visitor to the home. The visitor told deputies that Neal and the other suspect stole his Nike tennis shoes off his feet and took $40 from his pocket.

Investigator Mike Bell said he found Neal hiding in the bedroom at 8450 NE 120 St. on Wednesday. Bell noted that Neal was wearing the shoes that had been reported stolen, and Bell took them from Neal as evidence in the case.

Florida Department of Corrections records show Neal has had 24 convictions for sale, delivery or possession of cocaine in the past four years. Neal was most recently released from prison in November. His prison record does not include any robbery convictions.

Karen Voyles

COMMUNITY

Free series offers marathon tips

A free lecture series hosted by the UF and Shands Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Institute will help runners get off on the right foot in the upcoming Five Points of Life marathon.

The five-part series starts at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday, beginning on Jan. 13.

Each session will feature experts on specific topics of long-distance running, from footwear and training to nutrition and sports psychology.

The Five Points of Life marathon, half marathon, 5K race and kids marathon will take place on Feb. 21 and 22.

For more information on the free tip sessions, call (352) 273-7004 or check online at www.ufsports performance.com. The series will be held in the Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute at 3450 Hull Road.

Diane Chun

STATE

Ex-police officer gets nine years

MIAMI A former Miami police officer accused of providing protection for purported shipments of cocaine will spend nine years in prison.

According to a news release, Judge Patricia A. Seitz also sentenced Jorge Hernandez on Thursday to three years of supervised release after the completion of his prison term.

Geovani Nunez, who was also arrested after an eight-month undercover FBI operation, has already been sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison. Both Hernandez and Nunez had previously pleaded guilty to the charge.

Prosecutors said the veteran officers were paid a combined $39,500 by a man they thought was involved in numerous illegal businesses. That man, however, was secretly an FBI informant and all of their conversations were taped.

The Associated Press

Former teacher gets probation

TAMPA A former Southwest Florida teacher will spend six months on probation for a battery conviction.

Mary K. Dwyer was sentenced Thursday. She was convicted of two counts of misdemeanor battery on two teenagers during school.

In May, Dwyer allegedly slammed a door on the hand of a 15-year-old student who was trying to get into a classroom to take photographs for the school yearbook. Officials also say she grabbed another student by the arm and pushed him into a wall on the same day.

Hillsborough County officials said adjudication will be withheld from her record if she completes the terms of the sentence. Those terms include 16 hours of community service, anger management counseling and no contact with either victim.

The Associated Press

Report: Police killed suspect

PLANTATION Authorities say police in South Florida shot and killed a person wanted on several felony warrants after the suspect tried to flee in a car and dragged an officer through a parking lot.

The identities of the police officer and the suspect in the Thursday morning incident were not immediately released.

Authorities say the officer who was dragged had minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

Police say officers who opened fire on the suspect have been placed on administrative leave.

The Associated Press

Nonnative lionfish crops up in Keys

KEY LARGO Scientists in the Florida Keys discovered the first nonnative lionfish in the region that is home to the country's only living coral barrier reef.

The veracious eater has been rapidly multiplying in the Caribbean's warm waters. Officials believe the fish, a tropical native of the Indian and Pacific oceans, likely escaped from a Florida fish tank during a 1992 hurricane.

It has since been spotted as far north as Rhode Island, but hadn't been seen in the Keys.

A recreational diver reported seeing the fish off Key Largo. Scientists removed it Wednesday. They fear an invasion could devastate area reefs, as it has no known predators in the area. Officials are relying on divers to report sightings.

The Associated Press

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