Gainesville man who snatched phone from ex-girlfriend captured by GPD K-9 after manhunt in woods

Staff report

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Ronald Hashalon Neilson, 32, was arrested yesterday after allegedly snatching a phone from his ex-girlfriend, attacking her and her current boyfriend, and fleeing into the woods. He was eventually captured by a newly-certified Gainesville Police Department K-9 after a manhunt that included multiple GPD and Alachua County Sheriff’s Office units, including the ASO helicopter.

At about 2:55 p.m. yesterday, a GPD officer responded to the Alsander GNV apartment complex, where the female victim said Neilson had confronted her and her boyfriend in the gym of the apartment complex. Neilson allegedly punched the male victim in the face, then pushed the female victim up against a wall by her throat and grabbed her phone from her hands, then told her she would have to come meet him somewhere to get her phone back. All of these events were reportedly captured on surveillance video.

The officer made contact with Neilson outside the apartment complex and ordered him to stop, but he ran into nearby woods. The officer tracked the location of the victim’s phone, and multiple units responded to assist in the search, including a newly-certified GPD K-9 team and the ASO helicopter. The K-9 team reportedly apprehended Neilson.

Neilson has been charged with robbery by sudden snatching, domestic battery, battery, and resisting an officer without violence. He is also facing a sworn complaint alleging that he threatened to hit a woman and stole her phone on October 20. A sworn complaint for domestic battery was filed against him in 2020; that complaint also alleged that he took the victim’s phone, but he was not charged with theft, and the battery charge was later dropped. He was sentenced to drug offender probation in 2021 for drug possession and failing to make payments on two iPhones he purchased on a payment plan but violated probation in 2022 and was sent to prison for one year and seven days; he was released in March 2023. Charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, robbery and domestic battery were dropped in 2020, and two charges of battery were dropped in 2022.

Neilson has three felony convictions (one violent) and two misdemeanor convictions (none violent). He has three pending felony cases in Marion and Alachua Counties in addition to this current case and an active warrant from another state. Judge Susan Miller-Jones set bail at $135,000.

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. 

  • It’s time to start prosecuting the accumulating charges. He needs serious time in prison, if convicted.

  • The SAO needs to be paid on a commission basis.

    These dropped charges after dropped charges are ridiculous. If one of these thugs is released because of charges being dropped and injures my family or me I’m calling M & M.

    And they want a raise…😂🤣😂

  • Can’t read or didn’t get the memo about the last guy who had to be apprehended by a K-9 unit?

    Wait a second! He’s a criminal, he didn’t care about following the law. If something happens to a criminal in the woods and there isn’t anyone around to hear the criminal, does the criminal make a sound?

  • If that K9 would have bitten off Ronald’s ear or nose or eye or anything else, it would’ve been nobody’s fault but Ronald’s

  • 32 years old and he’s wasted his life. I would like to say he look on his face in his mugshot is some form of realization that he doesn’t have a future but it probably more like being dumbfounded that he got caught again. KRAMER I willmgive you a shiny new quarter if you put him in prison. But that may be too much of a raise for you.

  • It’s amazing how things go better when you have the right tools for the job, like a police helicopter and a police dog. And it sounds like the agencies are cooperating better now that Clovis has left the building.

  • It wasn’t the Dog it’s the phone he must wanted to get caught to not get rid golf the phone it’s like hiding but screaming I’m over here

  • When the charges are dropped it’s only a matter of time until the criminal assaults someone again, thanks to the lack of consequences. The permissive environment encourages even more crime.

    I honestly can’t figure out the DA team for the 8th judicial circuit. There seems to be a disproportionate amount of dropped charges in the news every single day, so I naturally began wondering if we had some kind of Soros-backed DA installed in our midst, seeking to circumvent the law by simply not enforcing it.

    Nothing online seems to indicate that. The assistant DA is part of an “alternative lifestyle” that you usually associate with a very liberal worldview, but there’s not really any public indication that she is part of any liberal / pro-criminal extremist group. The DA was a public defender, which is apparently a growing problem in other areas like California, but only for ~2 years vs ~20 as a prosecutor.

    It would be interesting to see how our judicial circuit stacks up with others in Florida and vs other red and blue states. I understand that they are only going to prosecute cases where they feel they can win, but the sheer volume of dropped charges really seems questionable. Maybe someone more knowledgeable can shed some light.

  • I went to high school with this guy, man he’s made some poor choices smh seems to have bad luck with phones to 😂

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