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Florida sheriff who hosts 'Wheel of Fugitive' show features people who are not fugitives


David Austin Gay has been shown on the "Wheel of Fugitives" show four times, but each time he wasn't a fugitive. Three times he was already in custody at the Brevard County Jail and the fourth time he was legally out of jail.

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – On four Tuesday nights between Jan. 26 and February 23, 2021, right after the upbeat rock music intro and the words: “The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Presents” appeared onscreen to the chant of “Wheel of Fugitive,” David Austin Gay’s mugshot was the first face of 10 contestants that viewers saw on Sheriff Wayne Ivey’s signature social media show.

“They’re all fugitives. They’ve all got reservations out at the Brevard County jail,” Ivey told viewers during the Feb. 9 episode which also featured the 21-year-old Gay. 

The problem is that Gay wasn’t a fugitive at the time; Gay had been in the Brevard County Jail since Jan, 25 and wasn’t on the lam when he appeared on the Jan. 26, Feb. 2, Feb 9. and Feb. 23 episodes. For three of those weeks, Gay was at the jail after turning himself in over a probation violation. The fourth time, Feb. 23, he was, in fact, legally out of jail, having taken a plea offer. 

“It’s very humiliating, it’s keeping me from getting jobs,” said Gay, whose probation violation resulted from a dispute with his father. When his probation officer called Gay to inform him there was a warrant for his arrest, he surrendered the same day, he said. His original arrest, for punching a man, was Gay’s first felony offense and adjudication was withheld in the case.


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