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Multiple agencies work together to arrest man who allegedly fired into the air in Alachua, then fled to Walmart in Gainesville

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Ricardo Lamar Neal, 30, was arrested yesterday afternoon after allegedly firing a gun into the air in Alachua and then fleeing. He was later found and arrested at the Walmart off NW 23rd Street in Gainesville.

An Alachua Police Department (APD) report states that Neal allegedly confronted a man in the 14300 block of NW 155th Place in Alachua at about 3:45 p.m. yesterday, claiming that the man had followed him on the highway. Neal allegedly became upset, grabbed a pistol, and fired one round into the air. A shell casing was later found at the location. Neal then allegedly pointed the pistol at a crowd of people at the location and told the man, “You don’t want this” before leaving the area. The man told law enforcement that he did not want to press charges, so no aggravated assault charges were filed regarding the threat to shoot.

Officers learned that Neal was a convicted felon who is not permitted to possess a firearm and that he had a warrant out of Alachua County for felony domestic battery. The warrant was issued after a sworn complaint for domestic battery was filed on February 18, 2022.

Within a few minutes, the car was located near Walmart off NW 23rd Street in Gainesville. When a Gainesville Police Department (GPD) officer approached the car, Neal allegedly ran. When an Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ASO) K-9 deputy told him to stop running, Neal reportedly jumped over a wall.

Citizens reported seeing Neal running into the Walmart store, where he was located wearing different clothes and a hat, all of which still had the tags attached. Neal was detained in the store but then began throwing up.

Neal was taken to the hospital, where an APD officer arrived with an arrest warrant. ASO deputies added a charge of resisting without violence and the felony warrant. GPD found a gun in the vehicle, but those charges were not added at the time of arrest “due to numerous calls for service.”

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Neal has been designated a “career offender,” and his most recent felony and misdemeanor convictions were out-of-county in 2020. He is being held on $100,000 bail.

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. 

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