Grieving mom says roads not safe with fugitive, Christopher Ponce, on the run

1:15 AM, Jun 18, 2013   |    comments
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WESLEY CHAPEL, Florida -- For Lynn Angel and her family, this latest development is a one-two punch they couldn't see coming.

She says while breaking down into tears, "Besides dealing with the loss now, we have to deal with this because we can't go forward, but we need to have justice for William. He should not have died."

Lynn saw her youngest son alive on July 18th of last year. William was a graduate of Wiregrass Ranch High school. He had several scholarship offers from the University of South Florida and the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, but turned them down to learn his family's business.

His mother says he loved hunting, beach volleyball, ping pong, and giving bear hugs. She smiles when she explains, "He would just give you the biggest hug, not just one of those little hugs, but one of those really big wrap your arms around you give you a big old hug, and just tell you that he loves you."

She says he'd always have a big grin on his face too. But those heartfelt hugs are now history.

Lynn says, "It is one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with, to have your child taken from you all because of somebody else being out of control."

Florida Highway Patrol blames Christopher Ponce of being out of control. It was just before three o'clock in the morning when they say he was driving his brand new Ford Fusion the wrong way on I-275 northbound. Investigators say he slammed into William Angel's Ford Mustang near the I-4 interchange.

Both cars were a mangled mess. William's two passengers survived. He did not.

Lynn spoke of her youngest son from their Wesley Chapel home. At times tears streamed down her face.  

"It is your worst nightmare as a parent when you say goodbye to them when they're going out with their friends to have a nice evening, to not see them again. To know that was your last bye, hug, kiss-your whole body aches." 

Lynn is deeply concerned about the community with the news that Ponce has taken off while waiting to go to trial in her son's death.

On July 25, 2012, Ponce was conditionally released from jail to await trial wearing a GPS ankle bracelet. On May 9, though, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office determined that Ponce had cut off the ankle bracelet and took off.

Lynn says her family just wants what's fair, which is to see Ponce be brought to justice and that he spend time behind bars. She adds, "Even though he won't be around, his mother will be able to see him and eventually get to hold him, kiss him, and hug him. I'll never be able to do that."

Her family has set up a website to find Ponce.

Meanwhile, Ponce's current whereabouts are unknown. Warrants have been issued for his arrest for Failure to Appear in Court for DUI Manslaughter, DUI with Serious Bodily Injury (2 counts), Reckless Driving with Serious Bodily Injury (2 counts), and Vehicular Homicide.

An additional warrant was issued for the damage caused to the GPS ankle bracelet.

Meanwhile, Lynn says it's also a safety issue for everyon the roadways. She says, "You would hope that it doesn't happen again, but it possibly could. I wouldn't want this to happen to any other family. "

She's urging people to call police if they've seen Ponce."We're going to live with this forever, but it's going to finally get to a place where our head and our hearts will be able to heal and we won't cry every day."

Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of Christopher Ponce. He's now 23 years of age, 5'9", 147 lbs., with a medium build, curly brown hair, and brown eyes.

Anyone with any information regarding Ponce's whereabouts and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS(8477). You don't have to reveal your identity.

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