OSCEOLA, Fla. – Johnathan Bradley Allen, a convicted sex predator on probation for 20 years, cut off his GPS ankle monitoring bracelet on Dec. 6 and disappeared, Osceola County deputies were immediately alerted by the Florida Department of Corrections.
All deputies received an alert that included a picture of Allen and information that he may have been hiding in the area of Hickory Tree Rd. in rural St. Cloud.
Less than 24 hours later, Deputy John Stubbs said he spotted Allen in a ditch along Hickory Tree Road.
"At that time, he picked his head up and got a really good look at his face," Stubbs said. "I recognized his face, I was 99 percent sure he was the absconded sex predator from the bulletin."
Allen was convicted in 2005 for battery on a child under 12, according to Florida Department of Correction's records. He was released in 2011 and put on probation, monitored by GPS.
"He had made statements that he was not going back to prison," Stubbs said.
Stubbs radioed for backup, and Deputy Brady Bennett and his K-9 partner "Buddy" arrived to assist Stubbs.
Bennett said he knew immediately that Allen had given him a false name.
"At that point, when I grabbed his arm, he slapped my arm and shoved back against me as we were standing against my patrol vehicle," Bennett said.
Allen ran, but Buddy quickly tackled Allen, Bennett said, and was arrested less than 24 hours after he absconded. He remains in the Osceola County Jail.
"If they tamper with their ankle monitor, if they take it off, we will go out and find them," Det. Delia Rijo said.
Rijo is one of two detectives that split Osceola County, spending all day every day checking on sex offenders and predators.
Det. Elliot Edwards is the other.
"We want them to know we're going to be there, we're going to make sure they're in compliance," Edwards said.
Edwards said Florida requires sex offenders to check in at county offices once a year.
Edwards and Rijo do more, they said, and go to the homes of sex offenders four times per year to make sure the offenders are living at the address where they've registered.
The detectives check on sex predators at their homes every month. The team also makes sure all sex offenders and predators have a special marking on their driver's licenses indicating their sex offender or predator status. Sex offenders and predators are required to notify the DMV to print the marking, or they will face a third-degree felony.
“So we want these guys to know we’re watching them,” Edwards said. “That if they fall out of compliance, we will be there.”