Police are searching for a young woman who was in their custody and escaped from a patrol car, according to reports.
Lake Wales Police report that at 6:45 p.m. March 26 officers responded to Druid Circle Street in reference to a fight. The investigation resulted in the arrest of Chelsea H. Stoudemire, a 19-year-old Lake Wales resident, and Kelvin L. Smith, an 18-year-old Lake Wales resident. They were arrested for being in a mutual fight between each other in a public area and charged with affray, reports say. Upon completion of the booking at the Lake Wales Police Department, Stoudemire was handcuffed and placed in the back seat of a police vehicle. The arresting officer left Stoudemire in the vehicle while he handcuffed Smith and brought him out to the police vehicle.
When the officer came back out he saw Stoudemire had managed to escape from the patrol vehicle and had fled the area. It has been determined Stoudemire was able to slip one hand out of her handcuffs, according to reports, and allegedly reach out a partially rolled down window, and open a rear door of the patrol car using the exterior handle. An extensive search has been conducted in an effort to locate Stoudemire and she has not been captured at this time, police say.
Police are still actively attempting to locate her. Stoudemire’s last known location was in the area of Lewis Griffin Road and Lisa Street. Smith was released from the police department with a notice to appear in court for the charge of affray.
Stoudemire is now wanted for the charges of escape, petit theft, and affray.
Anyone who knows where Stoudemire can be located should call Lake Wales Police Department at 863-678-4223 or Heartland Crime Stoppers at (800) 226-8477.