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Polk County News and Democrat Woman, mom, mother-in-law fight before custody hearing
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Updated: 07/19/2014 08:00:02AM

Woman, mom, mother-in-law fight before custody hearing

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Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies are seeking the public's help in identifying a suspect seen on video surveillance using a stolen credit card. The card was taken from a car on Sunday, July 13 in the parking lot of Legoland in Winter Haven. One card was used later that day at Target in Davenport at the Posner Park Shopping Center. The suspect was also videotaped driving a gray minivan.

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A woman at the Polk County Courthouse for a custody hearing was alleged to have attacked her mother and mother-in-law in the building and was charged with domestic violence on July 8, the Bartow Police Department reported.

Stephanie Denise Lucas, 27, of 203 Allapaha Ave., Davenport, was booked into the Polk County Jail on two counts of this charge.

Once the three were inside the courthouse, an argument started between Lucas and her mother-in-law. She then pushed away her mother and grabbed her by the right hand and aggressively pushed her away, police reported.

Lucas continued to push her away until all three were separated.

After being read her rights, Lucas denied doing this and further said her mother-in-law started the argument, grabbed her hair and scratched her on the left side of her face.

Police reported all parties declined medical treatment. There were no injuries on Lucas’ mother-in-law but there was a minor scratch and discoloration on her mother’s right hand.

Two arrested in aggravated child abuse case

A married couple were both arrested July 16 for aggravated child abuse after an investigation by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office indicated they caused serious injuries to their child, a press release said.

Latrice Luster, 19, and Timothy Henderson, 19, were booked into the Polk County Jail on the charges, a police report said.

On June 26, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office got a call in reference to an incident of child abuse. The victim was identified as a 5-week old infant who was admitted to Health Park Hospital for treatment.

During the investigation, a medical doctor, who is an expert in child abuse, established that the victim sustained multiple serious injuries. Those injuries appeared intentional and consistent with child abuse.

An extensive investigation by detectives in the Major Crimes Unit was conducted, which included numerous interviews and the examination of physical evidence.

Vehicle theft charged

A 55-year-old woman was charged with burglary of a vehicle when she tried to get into a gas station owner’s car in his lot on July 2, the Bartow Police Department reported.

The owner of the Sunoco gas station on U.S. 17 told police she saw Kathleen Theresa Lund, of 1510 E. Georgia St., Lot 310B, try to get into the passenger side of her Honda CRV at 7:39 p.m. that day. She said she saw Lund reach into the car.

The owner confronted Lund as she was looking through the car, telling her to stop.

Lund exited the vehicle and then tried to get into a 2010 Honda Accord that was parked next to the CRV. Lund was unable get in the car as it was locked. The owner of that vehicle saw Lund and confronted her. Lund eventually walked away from the car and stood on the sidewalk until the police arrived, they report.

Stolen bicycle found

A girl reported she saw Jeffrey Leon Dukes, 39, riding her bicycle just hours after she reported to police it had been stolen from her on July 3, a Bartow Police Department report said.

The victim saw Dukes riding it on East Avenue and went to tell police she saw it. When they responded, Dukes was found sitting on the bicycle on East Avenue just south of Gay Street. That’s when the officer told Duke to not move.

He then left he bicycle and ran east. The officer repeated orders to stop, identifying himself as a police officer, the report said.

The officer got back into his car and saw Duke run into a backyard and try to conceal himself behind an abandoned vehicle. The officer left his car, approached Duke and against ordered him to stay. However, he then ran east and the officer chased him.

Duke was caught trying cross 9th Avenue and he no longer resisted, the report said as he was handcuffed and charged with theft and resisting an officer without force.

Pot discovered after arrest

A 25-year-old woman was charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia after she was charged with battery for hitting her boyfriend on July 7, the Bartow Police Department reports.

Jerry Tavaris Edmond told police that he and Donettta Shene Heath, 1107 W. Polk St., had an argument and as he tried to walk home she began to hit him in the chest. He did not suffer any injuries, police reported.

After a witness confirmed the story, Heath was charged with battery. Then, while conducting an inventory check, Heath was found with a black zipper case that had a black glass smoking pipe and a piece of newspaper with a green leafy substance. It tested positive for cannabis, police reported.

Domestic violence called

Curtis Emil Droz, 42, was charged with domestic violence as he is accused of twisting his girlfriend’s arm because he didn’t want her to use his cellphone, Bartow police reported.

The victim told police the argument was over the cellphone and when Droz told her to take it from his hand, he twisted her arm behind her back forcing her to sit. She asked Droz to let go, but he refused, police reported. She then asked a person there to call the police. At that point, Droz let go of his girlfriend, police reported.

Police said the witness’ account and the victim’s account matched and Droz was arrested.

Resisting arrest charged

A 25-year-old man was charged with resisting arrest without violence after he tried to flee when he was pulled over because he knew he was driving on a suspended license, the Bartow Police report said.

Joseph Demenick Bustos, of 4062 Granderfield Circle, Mulberry, was charged on the two violations on July 8, police report.

Bustos was spotted on Wabash Avenue and U.S. 17 driving without a seat belt, police report. He was stopped in the 2100 block of East Church and when he was asked for his driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, he said his license was suspended, police report.

Bustos was then asked to get out of the car and place his hands on the trunk. As this was going on, Bustos took flight. He was caught in the 1400 block of State Road 60 and was arrested, police reported.

Attempted murder suspect sought

Winter Haven police report they are looking for Byron Nigel Swan, 25, who is wanted for three counts of attempted first degree murder.

At 5 p.m. Monday, Swan went to a stopped car at Fifth Street Northeast and Avenue O Northeast in Winter, police report. Three men in the car were inside when Swan started shooting into the car. Two were hit, police report, and the third was taken to Winter Haven Hospital.

One of the victims said she recognized Swan. The police are not identifying the suspects while Swan is loose. They report he is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information should call 863-287-1957 and ask for Lt. David Castle, or can call Crime Stoppers at 800-226-8477.

Man ejected, killed in car wreck

At 7:25 p.m. Saturday, July 5, a black 2003 Ford Expedition was heading westbound on Interstate 4 and entering onto the off-ramp at U.S. 27 in Davenport, when, for unknown reasons, the driver, Michele Walsh, 24, of Kissimmee, lost control of the SUV.

The SUV slid into the outside lane of the off-ramp, narrowly missed striking a truck that was stopped on the off-ramp, and then flipped, ejecting front-seat passenger Lascelles Gabbidon II, 36, of Kissimmee.

There were five other occupants of the SUV:

• Angela Marie Edwards, 24, of Jamaica, who was taken to LRMC, treated and released;

• Eric Evering, 6, of Jamaica, who was taken to Tampa General Hospital, admitted and in stable condition;

• Dhimani Edwards, 12, of Jamaica who was taken to Heart of Florida Hospital, treated and released;

• Sanjay Edwards, 11, of Jamaica, who was taken to Heart of Florida Hospital, treated and released;

• Krishna Edwards, 14, of Jamaica, who was taken to Heart of Florida Hospital, treated and released.

The passenger who was ejected, Gabbidon, was taken to Heart of Florida Hospital, where he was declared deceased. Walsh, declined medical treatment.

The driver was wearing her seat belt, however, it does not appear that any of the other occupants were wearing theirs. Wet road conditions and speed may be a factor, as well as bald tires on the SUV.

The investigation is ongoing.

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