CCSO: Man beats neighbor with wooden pole

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Melissa Montoya
Published: Updated:
Jan Eric Knelson (CREDIT: Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office)

A 53-year-old Punta Gorda man was arrested by the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office on Monday after he allegedly beat a woman with a wooden pole over the weekend.

Jan Eric Knelson has since bonded out of jail but faces a charge of aggravated battery, records show.

An arrest report for Knelson states that he battered a woman with a pole injuring her left eye, left shoulder, back and arms.

The incident happened after a neighbor of Knelson’s spent a day with him on his boat. The two live in the Gulf View R.V. Resort in the 10000 block of Burnt Store Road.

“I wouldn’t think that my safety would’ve been at risk I never would have left the land,” the woman told WINK News.

The woman asked WINK News not to identify her.

She can’t yet come to grips with telling her family what happened.

“I’m thinking of my mother the whole time. Like I don’t want her to bury me,” she said.

The woman told authorities that she got out of the boat in an area that had shallow water but told Knelson that she was afraid of the water and doesn’t know how to swim.

That prompted Knelson to sail away which caused the woman to panic and cry.

When Knelson allowed the woman back on the boat she confronted him at which point Knelson grabbed the woman and began to strike her with the pole.

“So I got back on the boat and I’m shaking a little bit like you know why did you do that and blah blah and he sees I’m panicking and of course this is towards the end of the day, he’s probably had a good 12, 15 beers,” she said. “He proceeds to whack the living (expletive) out of me, starting with my head.”

She was struck about 20 times, the report said.

Knelson also threatened to throw her in the water so she could be eaten by alligators or sharks since she was bleeding.

“He goes if you don’t shut up, he goes I won’t hesitate to take this pole and beat your (expletive) OK and put you overboard so the sharks and alligators can have their way with you and no one will find you, I have no problem doing that. I will kill you,” she said.

When they arrived back on the dock, the woman fled.

She went to the hospital after she began feeling sick. That’s when law enforcement was contacted.

Authorities arrested Knelson at the Punta Gorda Airport, where his employer Flight Fast Track, is located.

Knelson declined to speak to authorities and asked for an attorney, the arrest report states.

Knelson is back in her neighborhood and now, the woman is afraid to see him again.

She said she hopes she doesn’t run into him again.


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