May 18, 2011

Suspect in knife threats cuts himself; is caught at the hospital

Key Largo – Two men got into an argument over a woman Tuesday evening. One pulled a knife and threatened the other one. The suspect ended up cutting himself and was caught when he sought treatment at the hospital.

The victim called the Sheriff’s Office at 8 p.m. He said he and some friends were at their camp in a wooded area near the 101.4 mile marker of the highway when the incident occurred. He told Deputy Mike Sielicki he and 42 year old Carlos Ponce were talking about Ponce’s girlfriend when Ponce got upset and attacked him. He said Ponce pulled a knife and tried to stab him, but the victim grabbed a piece of furniture and deflected the knife. At that point, Ponce cut himself on the hand.

The victim said he fled from the area with Ponce chasing him, this time with both a knife and a hammer. He said when he called 911 for help, Ponce finally stopped chasing him. The victim had some injuries to his face where Ponce had hit him, so he was taken to Mariner’s Hospital for treatment. Several of the victim’s friends gave statements which were consistent with his story.

Sgt. Tom Kiffney was at the hospital to check on the victim when the Emergency Room staff alerted him to a man who’d come in seeking help for a cut on his hand. Ponce saw Sgt. Kiffney and tried to leave the hospital. The sergeant tried to stop him and direct him back to a treatment room, but Ponce pushed the sergeant. Ponce continued to struggle, yelling that he was going to kill the officer, but was detained and arrested.

Ponce received stitches in his hand for a cut he said he got cleaning fish. He was charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault and battery on a law enforcement officer. He was booked into jail.

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