A 49-year-old Bartow resident was charged with trying to steal $364 in grocery items from Publix supermarket on May 1, the Bartow Police Department reported.
Mark Kevin Raulerson, 575 W. Vine St., was booked in the Polk County Jail for retail and grand theft, police reported.
Raulerson went into the Publix on Van Fleet Drive at 5:32 p.m., May 1, allegedly took a shopping cart and began to fill it with merchandise. At 5:51 p.m., Raulerson was seen on the video exiting the store without paying, police reported.
Brad Johnson, a security officer, contacted Raulerson near the meat counter in the store noticing a large amount of meats, and questioned him. Raulerson said he was planning a family cookout and was provided a budget of $800, police reported.
A witness, Derek Brous, and Johnson determined Raulerson had $364.26 in merchandise.
The next day, Johnson was approached by a woman who said she wanted to remain anonymous. She said Raulerson had been bragging about stealing from Publix numerous times. She said he’d been having parties and cookouts with steaks and snack items with friends.
In a lineup, Johnson positivity identified Raulerson and he was charged with the crime, police reported.
Man found smoking pot in softball field dugout
A 19-year-old Bartow man was charged with possession of pot when he was caught smoking it in the dugout at the girls softball field at Bartow High School on May 3, the Bartow Police Department reported.
Matthew Lee Frazier, was questioned by school personnel and admitted the pot and paraphernalia was his, police reported. At 1:14 p.m. Jessee Marion noticed the smell of burning pot coming from the third base dugout at the softball field. Assistant Principal Dan Durham got in contact with Frazier. The witness saw a plastic Gatorade bottle that had been made into a smoking device. Frazier at first denied knowledge of the bottle, however, he was told it would be processed for fingerprints. One of the witnesses noticed it smelled of marijuana.
According to reports, as Durham was leaving the dugout, Frazier said “I’m gonna be honest. It’s mine. And I have this.” Frazier then allegedly removed a socket from his waistband that had burnt pot residue and a pack of rolling papers, in his pocket, police reported.
Man charged with aggravated assault
A 34-year-old Bartow man was charged with beating another person with a metal fence post after he was struck in defense by the victim with a metal baseball bat, the Bartow Police Department reported.
Quinton Lavonn Evans, 1465 Greentree Ave., was booked into the Polk County Jail for aggravated assault and battery for the incident that took place on May 1.
On that date in the late afternoon, Evans and Vonney J. Luster were arguing over a security deposit Evans thought Luster owed his wife. During the argument Evans became aggressive with Luster and Luster felt that his safety was being compromised. He got a metal baseball bat from his car to protect himself.
Evans pushed Luster, then Luster hit Evans with the bat, police reported.
Evans then left the area, which was Luster’s property, but he came back with a metal fence post from a nearby yard, police reported. According to reports, Evans hit Luster four times with the metal post and Luster told police he tried to defend himself with the baseball bat. In doing this, Evans hit Luster in the hands, arms, and fingers causing several lacerations. Evans broke one of Luster’s fingers and a bone in his left hand, police reported.
Luster was treated at Bartow Regional Medical Center and was transferred to a medical facility to see an orthopedic specialist, police reported.
Woman charged with domestic violence
A 56-year-old woman was charged with assault and domestic violence on May 3, the Bartow Police Department reported.
Artie Marie Jones, was booked into the Polk County Jail for allegedly trying to choke her girlfriend, police said.
At about 8 p.m. May 3, Jones pushed Stephanie D. Pullum. Pullum pushed Jones back and at that time, Jones ran back at her with her hands in a choking position, police reported.
In fear there would be excessive violence, Pullum pushed Jones away and she fled from the room, police reported.
Police took Jones to the police department for booking into jail and while there she threatened to kill herself by banging her head into the wall in the holding cell.
Man fails to outrun cops
Christopher Alan McNeal was charged with trespassing and resisting an officer without violence when he ran from two police officers after they caught him in an area he was not allowed to be, Bartow Police reported.
McNeal, 22, was booked into the Polk County Jail from trespassing and resisting an officer on May 6, police reported.
While on patrol a police officer noticed McNeal, whom he knows, in the Azalea Gardens apartment complex. Both he and another officer saw McNeal loitering, he reported.
The officer called to McNeal and when he saw them, he ran, police said. McNeal was asked to stop several more times, but he ignored the request.
Officers stopped McNeal near the 2100 block of Hamilton Avenue and placed him under arrest.
One dies in crash in Mulberry
At 5:35 pm, on Wednesday, May 14, 50-year-old Nancy G. Smith, 4th Street, Mulberry, was driving a 2002, white Chevrolet Camaro, and was stopped in the southbound lane of State Road 37 South, Mulberry, waiting to turn left into the business at 2295 S.R. 37 S.
Also traveling south on S.R. 37 was 23-year-old Courtney M. Captino, of Arch McDonald Drive, Dover, in a 2010, black Dodge pick-up.
Upon impact, the Camaro was directed southeast into the northbound lane of S.R. 37 and into the path of a red, 2000, 2-door Chevrolet, operated by 55-year-old Peter J. Sheardy, Columbia Drive, Bradenton, according to reports.
The front of the Camaro struck the driver side of Sheardy’s Chevrolet, which was northbound on S.R. 37.
After the impact, Captino’s pick-up truck traveled south approximately 75 yards coming to final rest in the southbound lane of S.R. 37.
After striking the Chevrolet, Smith’s Camaro rotated and came to final rest in the northbound lane of S.R. 37, facing northwest. The Chevrolet rotated 90 degrees counter clockwise and came to rest in the northbound lane, facing west.
Smith died at the scene. Captino and Sheardy were both taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries and were listed in good condition.
Captino was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, police reported. Both Smith and Sheardy were belted at the time of the crash.
State Road 37 was closed in both directions for approximately 3.5 hours.
The investigation is ongoing.