BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Additional charges have been added and bond revoked for Ernest Lee Hart III, 32, who was originally arrested on November 8, 2021.
The original arrest was in response to a call from the Circle K at 4030 SW 13th Street, reporting that a woman was being held in a car at gunpoint. The man in the car was arrested without incident and identified as Hart. The victim, who was inside the Circle K when officers arrived, said she’d been at a nightclub with Hart earlier in the evening and that he’d taken her cell phone and other belongings and then drove her to the Wawa at E. University Avenue. When he saw a law enforcement vehicle in the parking lot of the Wawa, he allegedly took a pistol from the glove box, loaded it, turned the safety to the off position, pointed it at the victim’s head, and told her to drive away from the Wawa. When she initially refused, he allegedly struck her in the head with the gun.
She also said he threatened to kill her and that she immediately drove away from the Wawa after he threatened her. While driving, she convinced Hart to let her go inside the Circle K and use the bathroom. She also convinced him to let her have her phone so she could call her father.
When deputies arrived, they found a 9mm Beretta handgun in the glove box, 2 grams of cocaine, and 0.5 grams of methamphetamine in the car.
Hart had seven previous felony convictions. He was charged with 11 counts of possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon, kidnapping, aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony, two counts of drug possession, obstructing justice, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was held on $151,000 bond and ordered to have no contact with the victim.
On December 17, prosecutors requested that Hart’s bail be revoked because on November 9, he allegedly called multiple people, asking them to add the victim to a three-way call, until he found one that the victim would answer. During the call, he allegedly told the victim to go to the State Attorney’s office and sign a paper saying she didn’t want to press charges. Two additional charges of violation of pretrial release conditions were added, with an additional bond of $5,000.
On December 23, Judge Phillip Pena granted the motion to revoke bond, and the seven current charges in the first case (the charges for possession of a firearm/ammunition were dropped to from 11 counts to one count) are all now set at “No bond.”
Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.