Ronald Cummings, the father of missing Haleigh Cummings and recently released from prison, is back in jail.
According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the 39-year-old was arrested on Christmas Day for battery on a law enforcement officer, trafficking oxycodone, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, resisting an officer with violence, obstructing police by depriving means of communication, possession of marijuana, and drug equipment possession.
Haleigh, age 5, was reported missing in February 2009 by his then-girlfriend Misty Croslin, who was watching her that night while Cummings worked. Her case has never been solved, but the Sheriff’s Office has previously acknowledged that she is probably deceased.
Several people, including her father and Croslin, were charged with unrelated drug offences during the extensive search and investigation.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Cummings was released from his 15-year mandatory minimum drug trafficking sentence on October 19, 2010. According to state law, he was eligible for incentive gain time after serving 85 percent of his sentence. He currently resided in Welaka.
A deputy and fire-rescue personnel responded shortly after midnight to a crash and possible vehicle fire at the intersection of Sisco Road and Olivia Lane in Pomona Park, which led to his most recent arrest. It appears that a Hyundai Sonata struck the Olivia Lane road sign. Cummings was seated in the driver’s seat while the car’s engine continued to run. According to the arrest report, he appeared to be sleeping or unconscious while holding a bottle of Hennessy liquor in his lap.
After multiple attempts to awaken him, Cummings moaned and made incomprehensible slurs. The deputy turned off the vehicle’s engine and ordered Cummings to exit. According to the report, he reeked of alcohol and appeared to be extremely intoxicated.
He began to exit the vehicle, then sat back down and attempted to start it again. The deputy stated that he told him three times to stop and received an expletive in response. The arrest report states that Cummings reached for and attempted to remove the deputy’s gun from his holster after the deputy removed him from the chokehold.
As the deputy attempted to subdue him, Cummings reportedly knocked the deputy’s radio to the ground. The deputy was able to bring him to the ground and secure him with the assistance of fire-rescue personnel. According to the arrest report, Cummings began rapping and blurting out statements, responding, “You think I’m afraid of prison” and calling the deputy an expletive “cracker.”
Two of his pockets contained substances that field tests determined to be oxycodone, and the car contained a bag of marijuana, according to the report.
Before being booked into jail, Cummings was transported to a hospital for a medical evaluation. During his initial court appearance on Monday morning, the judge set his bail at $185,000.
“Despite being released from prison with a clean slate, Ronald has returned to his old ways and is a danger to our community,” said Sheriff H.D. “Gator” DeLoach. “Not only did he endanger lives with his actions, but he also attempted to endanger our deputy and medical personnel who were dispatched to assist him after he decided to drive under the influence. His actions demonstrate that some people do not take advantage of the second chances they have been given to change their lives.