DUI suspect cuts ankle bracelet, goes on the run - FOX 13 News

DUI suspect cuts ankle bracelet, goes on the run

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Last July, Judge Walter Heinrich gave Christopher Ponce a stern earful before releasing him on bond.

"You're going to sit in your house and you're going to stay there. You're going to be on a GPS monitor and you're not going to be allowed to go anywhere," Heinrich said.

But 288 days later, Ponce is gone. Hillsborough sheriff's investigators say Ponce cut his GPS ankle bracelet and took off.

On Wednesday, Ponce was a no-show for his latest court hearing.

The 22 year old is accused of driving the wrong way on Interstate 275 and crashing head on into a Mustang, killing the driver, 20-year-old William Angel.

Major Mike Perotti is in charge of the GPS monitoring program at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

He says Ponce cut his bracelet on May 9th, and they knew within seconds.

"If it's broken, you have about a 15-second lag time before we find out and start looking for the person and figuring out what's happened," Perotti said.

Currently, the sheriff's office is monitoring 90 defendants on the tracking devices.

If they leave home, they must carry a cell-phone type unit to trace their every move.

Major Perotti says while the GPS program is an extra assurance to track defendants, it is no guarantee.

"It's an issue of trust. Once you let them out of the jail, they can do things like this," Perotti said.

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