Arrested Chiefland man suffers from dementia, relative says

Hoyt Neeley was arrested for exposing himself as Walmart in Chiefland.
Hoyt Neeley was arrested for exposing himself as Walmart in Chiefland.

By Suzette Cook/Mainstreet Daily News Reporter

An 80-year-old Chiefland man arrested for exposing himself and then released on Thursday has no prior record but has a family history of dementia, a relative reports.

According to a report posted on the Chiefland Police Department Facebook page, they were called to the Walmart in Chiefland in response to a complaint that an older white male was exposing himself.

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“Numerous witnesses stated that the suspect, later identified as Hoyt Neeley, was riding around the store on a motorized cart with a hole in the crotch area of his pants, the report states. The subject would then reveal himself through that hole exposing himself to victims.

There were previous complaints about a subject matching Neeley’s description performing these same acts inside the store, however his identity was not confirmed at that time, the report states.

The CPD arrested Neeley and transported him to the Levy County Jail where he was released on his own recognizance a few hours later, according to the CPD.

On Saturday, Neeley’s family reported that he suffers from dementia and that the alleged behavior is out of character for him, “If anyone sees Hoyt Neeley, please let him know his family is trying to contact him,” Wendy Ortiz posted on facebook and confirmed her post with Mainstreet Daily News.

“I know most of you have seen his mugshot on Chiefland Police Department, but I am here to tell you this man is not that person they are making him out to be! He is a veteran, a God fearing man and a loving papa! He has been independent his whole life and still continues to live on his own, but it’s clear he can’t anymore and we need to get in contact with him to help him out.

“He is 80 years old and when his mother died she had dementia, we believe something similar is going on with my Papa Hoyt.”

According to Ortiz, as of Saturday morning, none of Hoyt’s family knows who he was released to. 

Ortiz said threats are being made toward Neeley on facebook.

Ortiz shared correspondence with the CPD in which they report that they went with the evidence and arrested him. 

“We are not saying he’s a bad person, but obviously there are some issues,” the CPD wrote in a message to Ortiz. “Maybe the judge can order a mental health evaluation. We understand your concern as a family member, however it is not our place to get him help unless he meets that criteria.”

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