Florida Man, 28, Is Arrested for the 66th Time on Drugs and Firearms Charges After Being on the Run for Months
Lauren Edmonds, Daily Mail, February 7, 2020
A Florida man was recently arrested for the 66th time on Wednesday after he was on the run from authorities for eight months.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office took Kizer Pontoon, 28, into custody for resisting an officer, attempting to flee the scene with sirens activated and a moving traffic violation.
Authorities featured Pontoon as part of their ‘Fugitive Friday’ series, noting that he has been spotlighted four times and has more than five dozen local arrests.
‘[Pontoon] was most recently featured in October 2019 for failure to appear, possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, high speed vehicle pursuit while fleeing to elude, and driving while license suspended,’ they wrote.
In a May 2019 Fugitive Friday post, Kizer was arrested his 65th time ‘for contempt of court stemming from several charges of drug possession, fleeing to elude and driving while license suspended.’
According to criminal records obtained by DailyMail.com, Pontoon first began his long affair with law enforcement at the age of 12 in 2003 for a disturbing the peace at a school function.
From there, Pontoon continued to rack up a laundry list of charges like petite theft, larceny, drug possession and possession of a firearm or ammunition.
‘You’ll sometimes see people who have 40 or 50 arrests and it sounds like o my god how can somebody get arrested 40 or 50 times,’ Derek Byrd, criminal defense attorney, told ABC 7.
Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells says Pontoon’s long criminal history isn’t unique in the coastal city of Sarasota, and certainly not Florida.
‘They get a light sentence, they come right back out into our community and they start committing crimes again. Back in jail…light sentence,’ he said.
‘So it takes several convictions for them to even make it to prison. So we already see on a local level how important it is to keep these criminals off the streets.’
The Florida Department of Corrections reports 86 percent of prison inmates will be released back into the community.
Byrd noted that although Florida has the third highest prison population in the country, most people are not committing crimes at Pontoon’s level.
He said: ‘There’s definitely a percentage of people that no matter what you do for them they just aren’t going to get it. They just can’t get it.’
‘They’re just bad people and can’t get their head on straight and they probably belong in jail get them off the streets. But the vast majority aren’t people like that.’
He also noted that some criminals need mental health and rehabilitation services, not jail time.
‘There’s plenty of time for rehabilitation but that’s up to them. We can give them the tools and put them in the right program but they have to make the decision to quit committing crimes,’ Byrd said.
Even so, the Department of Corrections show the amount of offenders returning to jail within three years of being released has decreased over the last decade.
Byrd says more assistance is needed in the system to help offenders properly transition back into society and minimize chances of imprisonment all together.