BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Emanuel Leon Baker III, 18, was arrested this morning and charged with simple battery, two counts of cashing a forged check, and two counts of scheming to defraud after allegedly cashing a forged check and attempting to cash a second check.
Baker reportedly told a Gainesville Police Department Detective that he was recruited by a person he didn’t know on June 29, 2022, to cash a check for $2,446.86 and that he could keep $800 if he succeeded in cashing the check. He also allegedly found a friend to go with him and cash a second check. Baker reportedly told the detective that he and the co-defendant went to the unknown person’s apartment, where that person printed off checks that said they were from the Perry Roofing Contractors account.
Baker and the 16-year-old co-defendant allegedly presented the checks and their identification cards to an employee at Tienda Mexican Market, and both checks were reportedly successfully cashed.
The next day, the two teens allegedly returned to the same store with two more checks, but this time the clerk became suspicious and told them she needed to go to her office to verify that they were real. The victim told an officer that Baker became angry and pushed her into the wall, then both teens ran out of the business and got into an SUV waiting outside. The victim followed them into the parking lot and took multiple photos. The victim also reportedly provided officers with photocopies of the teens’ identification cards.
GPD officers reportedly contacted Baker this morning at his home and wrote that he immediately began making phone calls, saying he was in trouble over cashing a check, even before the officers told him why they were contacting him. Post Miranda, he reportedly admitted cashing the check on June 29. He reportedly denied pushing the clerk but said he may have accidentally bumped into her.
Baker was previously arrested on August 28 and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor after he was found in a car with several juveniles who allegedly had stolen guns and were smoking marijuana. He was released on a signature bond, and the charge was later dropped.
Judge Kristine Van Vorst released Baker on his own recognizance with a requirement that he observe a curfew between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
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.