Girl, 13, abducted after father puts her out of truck
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
A 55-year-old Pensacola man remained behind bars this week, charged with the May 15 kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl whose father had put her out beside a county road because she continuously “irritated” her brother.
The Escambia County (Fla.) Jail’s website shows that Ronald Gene Joyner is being held under total bonds of $56,000 in connection with the incident. Joyner is charged with one count each of kidnapping ($50,000 bond), interfering with child custody or “family offense” ($5,000 bond) and battery ($1,000 bond).
The child’s ordeal included a trip into Atmore, where Joyner reportedly drove to Walmart, threatening to kill the youngster’s family if she tried to escape. That was one of several such threats he reportedly made during the time she was under his control.
Escambia County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office reports indicate that the teen’s father told deputies he and his family had been fishing at a commercial pond off South Highway 99 in the Walnut Hill community, and were leaving in his truck.
The man said the girl was “irritating her brother,” so he stopped the truck near the junction of South Highway 99 and Beasley Road, about a half-mile west of the pond, and made her get out and walk. He said he drove only about a quarter mile, then turned around to go pick the girl up. Although the estimated time between her expulsion from the truck and its return to that spot was estimated at only “about two minutes,” she was nowhere to be found.
The girl said that shortly after her father put her out, the suspect — a man she reportedly did not know and had never seen before — pulled his truck over and asked if she needed help. She told him she didn’t, and kept walking, but Joyner “kept following her and calling her derogatory names.”
She told deputies Joyner eventually got out of his vehicle, grabbed her and put her in the back seat of his truck. She reportedly tried unsuccessfully to get away and refused to remain quiet until Joyner told her he would “shoot everyone in (her) family” if she didn’t behave.
According to ECSO reports, at one point Joyner gave the girl a soft drink that “tasted like he put something in it,” then headed north into Atmore. The child said she begged her abductor to let her go, but he refused, threatening again to kill her family if she tried to escape.
The frightening ordeal continued as Joyner left Atmore and headed toward Pensacola. He reportedly stopped at several gas stations on the way, and she told him while they were at one station that she had to go to the bathroom. She said Joyner again threatened to “kill all of her family and make her watch” if she tried to escape or alert anyone to her situation.
The accused kidnapper also allegedly purchased what he claimed was heroin and offered it to the girl after he had snorted some of it.
According to a Pensacola television station, when Joyner found out by way of a phone call that he was being sought by law officers, he ordered the girl to call emergency dispatchers and report that she was unharmed.
He made her get out of the truck near the intersection of Mobile Highway and Bellview Avenue in Pensacola and reportedly told her he would harm her if she wasn’t there when he came back.
Deputies found her hiding under a fence just before midnight and took her to an undisclosed medical center, where she was reportedly evaluated and released. Joyner was located and taken into custody about 40 minutes later.