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Polk County News and Democrat Police: Man kidnapped, tried to strangle wife
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Updated: 01/08/2014 08:00:02AM

Police: Man kidnapped, tried to strangle wife

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Bartow Police Chief Joe Hall administers the oath of office to newly-sworn Bartow Police Department officer Mike Bennett. Bennett was sworn in on Monday, Jan. 6. He joins the department following a 28-year career with the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

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WINTER HAVEN (AP) — Police have charged a Florida man with kidnapping and attempting to strangle his wife.

Detectives with the Winter Haven Police Department say 32-year-old David Archer became angry and beat his wife on New Year’s Eve. She convinced him to take her to the hospital, but instead police say he drove near Orlando and threatened to kill them both.

Archer eventually drove back to Winter Haven and took his wife to the emergency room. But investigators say he forced her to lie about how she received the injuries.

After being treated, Archer allegedly drove his wife to a hotel and held her against her will for two days. He then took her back home and left. The wife contacted relatives who called police.

Archer turned himself in to authorities Saturday evening.

Sheriff’s office looking into fatal crash

At approximately 6:09 p.m., on Sunday, 48-year-old Larry G. Strouse of 337 Windsong Ave., Davenport, was on the east side of U.S. 27 at La Casa Del Sol Boulevard.

Strouse ran west across the northbound lanes of U.S. 27 and into the center lane of southbound U.S. 27, where he stopped, police reported. When Strouse stopped in the roadway, he was struck by a white 2005 four-door Chrysler, driven by 23-year-old Oksana M. Dee, 23, 756 Knollwood Drive, Davenport, who was traveling southbound on U.S. 27 in the center lane.

Strouse was propelled over the hood and into the windshield causing it to shatter. Strouse came to rest on the west shoulder of the roadway approximately 120 feet south of the impact location.

Strouse died at the scene.

There were two passengers in the Chrysler, Amelia Cyphert and Dave Richland, both wearing seatbelts, however the airbags did not deploy. No one inside the vehicle was injured, police reported.

The investigation revealed Strouse had been a patient at Heart of Florida Hospital in Haines City for several days. For unknown reasons, he removed his IV and fled the hospital on foot. At 6 p.m. hospital staff reported Strouse missing to Haines City Police.

Speed, impairment, or distracted driving do not appear to be factors in this crash, police reported.

U.S. 27 southbound lanes were shut down for approximately three hours, but the northbound lanes remained open throughout the investigation.

The investigation is ongoing, however, no criminal charges are anticipated.

Suspect named in shooting

A weekend shooting is still under investigation and police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Hilbert “Shiny Gillz” Garza, a 30-year-old Frostproof resident, following a Sunday evening shooting at the BP Gas Station at 704 N. Scenic Hwy. in Lake Wales.

In the shooting, 21-year-old Earnest Hampton Jr., was taken to Lake Wales Medical Center for his injuries and later airlifted to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, according to reports.

In a press release issued Tuesday morning, Lake Wales Police Deputy Chief Troy Schulze said the Jan. 5 shooting was apparently over money owed to Hampton.

According to reports, Hampton saw a female at the business who owed him money, so he approached her asking about the money. Police say the female was the driver’s side back- seat passenger in a vehicle occupied by three other people, one of whom was Garza. As the discussion turned into an argument, a male who was the passenger side backseat passenger told Hampton to leave the female alone and deal with him if he had a problem, reports say. As Hampton was walking around the vehicle to the male passenger who became involved, he was allegedly shot by Garza, who was a front seat passenger, according to reports.

After being shot, police say Hampton fled the area and so did Garza and the occupants of the vehicle he was in.

On Jan. 6, detectives were able to locate the three passengers who were allegedly in the vehicle with Garza. The witnesses told detectives Garza dropped them off after the shooting and fled with the vehicle, reports say. Police note the witnesses identified Garza as the shooter and add that Hampton was able to identify Garza as the shooter also. Based on the information learned during the investigation, an arrest warrant was obtained for Garza, charging him with aggravated battery with a firearm. At approximately 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 6, police say the vehicle was located at a bar in Avon Park but Garza and the firearm have not been found as of Tuesday at press time.

Schulze asks that anyone who knows of Garza’s location or has information regarding this investigation is encouraged to call Detective Ivelisse Rodriguez at 863-678-4223, ext. 271 or Heartland Crime Stoppers at800-226-8477. Police say Garza is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who knows where Garza is located should not approach him but should notify law enforcement immediately.

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