BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Erick Bernard Mann, Jr., 37, was arrested yesterday and charged with burglary, petit theft, possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of personal identification information for five or more people, resisting arrest without violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, and giving a false name to law enforcement.
Gainesville Police Department officers responded to a call at about 9:20 a.m. yesterday about the theft of two bicycles from a covered back porch in the Phoenix area; more specific information about the location was redacted. About thirty minutes later, officers found Mann about two blocks away, and he allegedly ran in an attempt to elude officers. Mann allegedly ignored commands from at least two uniformed officers and continued to run. When he was cornered by officers, he allegedly ran toward one officer, plowed into him, and pushed him.
When Mann collided with the officer, he reportedly dropped several pieces of mail that he had been carrying; he said he was “throwing my empty mail in the dumpster,” but the mail belonged to six different people and none of the pieces belonged to Mann. Officers found damaged mailboxes and a pile of opened mail in the same apartment complex where the bicycles had been reported stolen.
A search incident to arrest reportedly produced a small baggie with a white powdery substance, and Mann stated spontaneously that it was “molly.” The substance tested positive for MDPV.
When asked to identify himself, Mann allegedly gave the name “Robert Lee Smith” and a birthdate in 1992. It reportedly took over an hour for officers to discover his true identity.
The bicycles’ owner and a witness positively identified Mann as the person they’d seen taking the bicycles. Mann also reportedly matched the description of the suspect in another burglary the same morning. Charges in that case are pending.
A sworn complaint has also been filed against Mann for an armed robbery that he allegedly committed on December 29, 2022.
Mann has five felony convictions and served nine months in the Alachua County Jail in 2022; he has also served three state prison sentences. Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail at $67,000.
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.