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Polk County News and Democrat Puppy dies after being tossed in Dumpster
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News Story
Updated: 12/07/2013 08:00:02AM

Puppy dies after being tossed in Dumpster

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Darrius Austin

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Winter Haven Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the responsible person who threw a 4-month-old Rottweiler puppy in a Dumpster in what police are calling “an obvious attempt to kill the animal.”

The puppy did not survive.

On Thanksgiving, at approximately 10:20 p.m., officers were called to the Royal Inn, 3525 Lake Alfred Road NW, Winter Haven, to a puppy being found in the dumpster behind the business. The puppy was found by Joshua Wanie, who was out walking his dog, according to reports.

Wanie’s dog began pulling towards the Dumpster and acting erratic, which was out of character for the dog, police say.

Wanie approached the Dumpster and heard faint whimpering coming from inside. Police say he began searching the Dumpster and found the puppy tightly wrapped in three plastic bags. He removed the bags and the puppy began gasping for air. The puppy started vomiting and was unable to use his front legs, reports say.

Polk County Animal Control was contacted and took the puppy, which expired shortly after arriving at their facility.

Police are asking anyone with information on this case to call the Winter Haven Police Department at 863-401-2256.

Officers seek man possibly involved in fatal wreck

Twenty-four-year-old China Harris of Lakeland, who was critically injured in a traffic crash Tuesday died from her injuries, the Lakeland Regional Medical Center reports.

Polk County Sheriff’s deputies are seeking the public’s help in locating Darrius “DJ” Austin, 23. Austin has an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on a burglary charge and he is also a person of interest in the crash.

Around 12:30 a.m., a Saddle Creek Corp semi-truck was heading north on Fish Hatchery Road, crossing the intersection of Saddle Creek Road, when it collided with a white 2013 Chevy Malibu, the sheriff’s office reports. The collision caused the semi to jack-knife.

The driver of the Malibu, described as a slender black male with short hair, wearing a white T-shirt, fled the scene on foot. Harris of Lakeland, was driving the Malibu.

Anyone with information and wants to remain anonymous can call (800) 226-TIPS or visit

Alleged Prestone theft leads to multiple charges

A 22-year-old man was charged Nov. 20 with aggravated assault, resisting a merchant, resisting a police officer and retail theft after he was caught trying to steal less than $16 worth of Prestone starting fluid from Walmart, the Bartow Police Department reports.

Timothy Bradley Allen, of 12320 Creek Edge Drive, was charged with throwing a wood board with nails sticking out of it at a security guard and an officer had to use an arm bar and force him to the ground to handcuff him, the police reported.

A security guard at the store on Van Fleet Drive saw Allen put five cans of starter fluid in his pants and leave the store. When he stopped him Allen first began to back away but eventually gave the loss prevention officer the cans. The security guard asked Allen to go inside the store for processing and Allen went behind another building and tried to get away, police reported.

When trying to get away, Allen found a wood fence picket with three nails protruding and he threw it at a second security guard, police reported.

When an officer arrived he asked Allen to stop which he refused forcing the officer to chase Allen, wrestle him to the ground and handcuff him. Allen complained of pain in his back, police reported. He was taken to the Bartow Regional Medical Center where he was cleared. He was then taken in to be processed and booked in the Polk County Jail, police reported.

Suspect charged with head-butting

Melvin Lee Bouyer was charged with battery on Nov. 20 for an argument he had with his girlfriend where he is accused of head butting her and slamming her face into a car, the Bartow Police Department reports.

Bouyer, 32, of 2415 E. Gibbons St., Bartow, was booked into the Polk County Jail on the charge.

Kristy D. Fason told police that Bouyer is her boyfriend and they got into an argument over a cell phone, reports say. During the course of this argument, she said Bouyer hit her several times in the face, head butted her and slammed her face into a car at the house, police report.

Woman charged with battery, resisting arrest

A 48-year-old woman was charged with battery and resisting arrest for hitting a man in their home, the Bartow Police Department reports.

Katherine Lynn Barrett, of 1340 E. Clower St., Bartow, was booked into the Polk County Jail on the charges on Nov. 22, police reported.

At 11:15 p.m. police responded to the house in reference to a battery call. Gerald Francis Keyser told police he was involved in a verbal dispute with Barrett and she became angry with him and slapped him on the left side of his face, reports say. He said he got out of the room and retreated to his room and called the police department.

Police report Keyser did not have any injuries but while Barrett was being arrested she locked her arms to avoid being handcuffed and tried to pull away from the police.

Nine stores checked, nine in compliance

On Tuesday, Nov. 26, Polk County Sheriff’s School Resource deputies and an Explorer unit attempted to buy alcohol in the area and in nine stops none sold any to the underage would-be drinkers.

The lone Bartow store checked was Citgo Star Mart, 466- U.S. 17 N.

The areas explored were in Eagle Lake, Wahneta, and Winter Haven areas.

According to reports, the other stores checked were:

Chevron, 558 U.S. 17 N., Eagle Lake

RaceTrac, 11023 U.S. 17, Winter Haven

Sunoco, 2477 Rifle Range Road, Wahneta

Mo’s Market, 3071 Rifle Range Road, Wahneta

Citgo Quik Mart, 3074 Rifle Range Road, Wahneta

Citgo Quik Mart, 3544 Rifle Range Road, Wahneta

Citgo, 150 U.S. 17, Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake Super Market, 15 SW Central Ave., Eagle Lake

Accreditation team seeks public comment

A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Public Safety Communications Accreditation, administered by the Commission on Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., will visit the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in December to examine all aspects of Telecommunications policy and procedures, management, operations, and other support services.

“Verification by the assessment team that the Polk County Sheriff’s Office meets the Commission’s state-of-the-art standards for telecommunications public safety is part of a voluntary process to gain re-accreditation, a highly prized recognition of professional excellence,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency members and members of the community can offer comments to the assessment team by calling 863-224-0758 from 2-4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9. Telephone comments are limited to five minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with Public Safety Communications Accreditation standards.

A copy of the standards is available at the Sheriff’s Office of Professional Compliance located at 1891 Jim Keene Blvd., Winter Haven, FL 33880.

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