INTERLACHEN, – Residents on Ellen Avenue and Bonnie Avenue may have noticed increased law enforcement and first responder activity last night.
An Interlachen woman found a naked man crying for help with his legs severely mauled at about 10:30 p.m. The woman told deputies she heard from her residence the man as well as dogs barking and began walking down Ellen Avenue toward the sound. She found the man, called 911 and another neighbor brought a blanket to cover the man who had deep lacerations to both legs.
The man was breathing but unresponsive when rescue units arrived. Deputies were unable to find the man’s clothing or wallet for identification. The man was taken by air ambulance to a trauma hospital.
Deputies began looking for the man’s clothes and found four dogs in a fenced-in yard on Bonnie Avenue and footprints in the dirt roadway between where the man was found and the dogs. Deputies also noticed blood on one of the dogs.
As deputies continued to look for information on the man’s identity, a missing person call was received by dispatchers for Ronnie Charles, 46, of Interlachen. Charles lives about a block away from the incident. Deputies met with the person who reported Charles left with friends the friends said they had “left him.” She said Charles was now missing and in describing him said he had tattoos. Deputies were able to give this information to the hospital, which confirmed the tattoos were the same as the patient’s tattoos.
Based on the investigation deputies determined at this time no crime occurred. The dogs were located inside a fenced in yard that did not allow the animals to roam freely outside of the property. Deputies found no blood or evidence of an attack outside of the yard or in the roadway.
“At this time, it appears the dogs were doing what they were supposed to do and that was to protect the property and homeowner, who is elderly,” said Sheriff H.D. ‘Gator’ DeLoach. “It was unfortunate that Mr. Charles suffered the injuries he had as he was clearly not coherent and due to the close proximity of his home may have thought he was walking to his residence. We are praying for a speedy recovery. However, we cannot fault the dogs for doing their job.”