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The Villages
Friday, January 27, 2023

One-legged man known as Ponce de Leon arrested for third time in 30 days

Mario Arteaga
Mario Arteaga

A one-legged man known by the alias Ponce de Leon was arrested for the third time in 30 days after allegedly waving a knife at a deputy who tried to serve him with paperwork at his home.

The Lake County sheriff’s deputy went to the home of 63-year-old Mario Arteaga at Harbor Hills in Lady Lake and attempted to serve paperwork for an injunction at 3 p.m. Saturday. The deputy spotted Arteaga in a silver Jeep in the backyard of his home at 39541 Grove Heights. The deputy also noticed a wheelchair next to the Jeep. The deputy noted in the arrest report that the native of Cuba had “only one leg and the other one was amputated.”

As the deputy neared the Jeep, Arteaga pulled a long knife from the center console and started swinging it at the deputy. Arteaga “screamed” at the deputy to get off his property. The deputy kept his distance and called for backup while Arteaga was “screaming racial slurs.” Arteage was placed in a squad car and he continued to hurl racial slurs all the way to the Lake County Jail where he was booked without bond on charges of aggravated assault and a hate crime.

Arteaga had been free on bond following his Oct. 25 arrest in a car-ramming altercation that began over a dog.

Arteaga also was arrested on Oct. 8 after causing a disturbance at the Marriott TownePlace Suites at Spanish Springs in The Villages.

Arteaga had been arrested in a 2019 road rage incident.

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