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The Villages
Thursday, April 25, 2024

Convicted sex offender jailed after trying to cut off woman’s call to 911

William Blakely Cantwell
William Blakely Cantwell

A convicted sex offender has been jailed after trying to cut off a woman’s call to 911.

William Blakely Cantwell, 46, of Wildwood, was arrested Thursday morning at his home, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman had confronted the New Jersey native about stealing money. She attempted to 911 dial, but Cantwell grabbed her forearm causing her “sharp pain.” While she was on the phone with 911, they struggled over the phone, causing it to fall to the ground. The woman was able to pick up the phone and continue the conversation with the dispatcher.

Deputies who arrived at the home were informed that there were internal surveillance cameras at the residence. Footage of the altercation had been captured by the cameras.

When deputies attempted to take Cantwell into custody, he claimed he was having an anxiety attack. He was transported to the UF Health-The Villages Hospital freestanding Emergency Room at Brownwood. When he was medically cleared, he was booked on charges of battery and depriving use of 911 at the Sumter County Detention Center. He was being held without bond.

Cantwell had been convicted in 2011 in Sumter County on a charge of lewd and lascivious conduct with a victim under the age of 16. In 2014, he was convicted of failure to register as a sex offender.

In 2019, he was arrested after repeatedly calling 911.

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