After 2 Days Evading Police, Levy County Man Turns Himself In

Ontez Ellison (Photo from Levy County Sheriff’s Office)

A 23-year-old Levy County man with previous burglary charges who had been on the run since Saturday surrendered to police Tuesday.

Ontez Ellison, of Bronson, failed to meet his probation requirements for previous charges, resulting in a warrant for his arrest, according to a news release from the Levy County Sheriff’s Office.

Court records list his previous charges as burglary and petit theft from a March 2015 incident, and damage to property, burglary and petit theft from an incident that April.

Ellison fled police in Levy County in a stolen car with another man, later identified as Julius Wright, also from Bronson, the release said.

Police issued a lookout for Ellison and the car on Sunday. A Levy County deputy spotted a vehicle matching the description near Northeast 105th Avenue in Bronson and attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the car sped away recklessly, according to the release. The deputy identified the driver as Ellison.

From there, Ellison escaped to Alachua County and left the car in the city of Archer on Southwest 95th Avenue to flee on foot, the release said. Alachua County Sheriff’s Office deputies used dogs to assist with the search, but Ellison could not be found.

But Wright was found by Alachua County deputies and was arrested on charges of marijuana possession and destroying evidence, court records show.

Ellison ended up back in Levy County Tuesday when an investigator with the county’s Drug Task Force, Joe Barrera, contacted him to negotiate and convinced him to surrender peacefully, according to the release.

“Barrera used his investigative skills to contact [Ellison] and organized a meeting,” Lt. Scott Tummond, a Levy County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, later told WUFT News. “We can’t reveal the methods he used for the sake of future investigations, but he was able to negotiate with Ellison, which led to a peaceful surrender.”

After dealing with Ellison for such a long period of time, the sheriff’s office wanted to avoid car chases at all costs, so they called in Barrera to assist, Tummond said.

“We didn’t want another vehicle chase because they are dangerous to everyone involved,” Tummond said. “They’re dangerous to the officers chasing and to other citizens driving.”

After meeting with Barrera, Ellison was arrested in Bronson and charged with three counts of violating probation, one count of fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement with disregard of safety to persons or property, and driving with no valid license.

As of this afternoon, he remained in the Levy County Jail without bond.

About Molly Donovan

Molly Donovan is a reporter for WUFT News and can be reached at 850-819-0721 or

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