On Wednesday, May 21, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Lake City man for multiple counts of child abuse and neglect.
The investigation was initiated Tuesday evening, May 20 when a juvenile walked into the Lake City Police Department reporting physical and emotional abuse. Since the suspected crime occurred in the unincorporated area of the county, a deputy responded and took the complaint. The deputy learned the juvenile was one of six children in the home and while taking the statement, he sent another deputy to 4982 NW Lake Jeffery Rd to check on the other children.
The home visit by the deputy prompted a call to DCF. The Child Protection Investigator responded and removed the six children ranging in ages of 16 to 6 to suitable locations as the investigation progressed. A detective assumed the investigation and developed probable cause for an arrest.
Ernest Simmons, 58 was arrested on three counts of cruelty towards a child and three counts of child neglect and is currently being held on $90,000 bond in the Columbia County Detention Facility.
This investigation is active and on-going with additional charges expected.