Man arrested after stalking ex, violating no-contact order, Florida deputies say

A man was arrested on Wednesday after he showed up to the Central Florida home of his ex despite being under an order that forbids him from being within 500 feet of her, deputies said.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office said that they responded to a residence in Bunnell at 2:50 a.m. on Wednesday after receiving reports of a disturbance. 

They said that 46-year-old James Simmons came to the home of his ex and began banging on the door, despite being under a 'No Contact Order' for a previous domestic violence incident. He is not allowed to be within 500 feet of his ex.

The victim was fearful of Simmons because of the previous violent incident between the two and barricaded the door so that he could not enter the residence. She did not remove the barricades until after deputies arrived.

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The Sheriff's Office said that they began to search for Simmons. By 4 a.m., AirOne found a person hiding in a wooded grassy area of a nearby property that is fenced in. Deputies made contact with Simmons and took him into custody. 

“This guy put his ex-girlfriend in a terrifying situation by not only violating a no contact order but by refusing to leave even after she called law enforcement,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Unfortunately he then made the decision to run and hide resulted in a massive search with the assistance of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office helicopter he was located and arrested. We take the safety of domestic violence victim’s seriously and we were not leaving until he was apprehended. At the end of the day, he just racked up more charges for his poor decisions.”

Simmons was charged with Burglary of a Dwelling, Violation of a No Contact Order, Stalking, Criminal Mischief, and Resisting Arrest. The property owners of the fenced-in area that he was found are also pursuing charges against him, deputies said. 

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Simmons reportedly has a prior arrest history in Flagler County dating back to 2013. He has previously been charged with Felony Fleeing and Eluding, Simple Assault, Driving without a License, Resisting Arrest, Driving Under the Influence, Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition, and a variety of narcotics charges. 

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