[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 05/12/20]
ASTOR, Florida — A man who told a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy he was upset at his ex-girlfriend for “[leaving] him in the woods for a week,” after he deposited $500 in her bank account is accused of biting her face, carjacking and burglary with battery.
Around 10 p.m. Sunday, the woman told a deputy she was in the parking lot of the Steel Around Forest Tavern, 21918 State Road 40, Astor, rearranging items in her vehicle when her ex-boyfriend, Dustin Joseph Pierce, 26, appeared “out of nowhere” on foot and began arguing with the woman. Pierce then reached in the driver’s side window of the car and bit the woman’s face, pushed her and hit her, according to an arrest affidavit.
The woman tried to escape out of the open passenger door and Pierce got into the vehicle and shifted it from “park” to “drive” and began to drive away as the woman fell from the vehicle and suffered various contusions and abrasions, she told a deputy. Her injuries were consistent with her story, the arresting deputy stated in the affidavit.
Pierce left the area and the deputy made contact with him near Deerfly Road and State Road 40 and he said he was upset with the victim because he deposited $500 in her bank account and she “left him in the woods for a week,” referencing his family’s property, the affidavit states. Pierce told the deputy he approached the victim in the parking lot on the passenger side of the vehicle, and she tried to “take off,” causing Pierce to climb further in the vehicle to keep his balance. Pierce said she put the vehicle in “park” and exited and Pierce climbed in and “pretended” he was going to leave by slowly driving through the parking lot. He said the victim tried to take control of the vehicle by “hopping” into the driver’s seat while Pierce was still in it, causing her to fall out and onto the pavement.
Pierce said he gave his shirt for her injuries and they spoke briefly before he was picked up by an associate. Due to the woman’s injuries, Pierce was arrested for carjacking, felony battery and burglary with battery. He is being held in the Lake County Jail on $22,000.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]