The Second District Court of Appeals has been hearing cases in Tampa since the court’s Lakeland headquarters building was declared uninhabitable in 2016. In an editorial, The Tampa Bay Times argues the court should stay in Tampa. Half of the court’s business originates in the Tampa Bay region and 41 percent of the population of the 13-county district lives in the bay area, the newspaper points out. Pork chop politics in the Legislature landed the court in Lakeland and is clouding reason in the debate on where to house the court, the editorial states, concluding that “all Lakeland has to commend it as a legal center now is inertia.”
Crime / Justice
- Keely Rai Oltmanns, 15, of Lakeland, died Tuesday evening when the car she was riding in failed to stop at a flashing red signal north of Dade City | Tampa Bay Times
- A 22-year-old convenience store co-owner faces charges after video captured him shooting into the car of a fleeing beer thief | WFLA
- The city of Lakeland says it is accelerating efforts to place more security cameras in Barnett Park following an arrest near the playground | WFLA
@LakelandPD has charged Terrese Lafate Colston of Tampa with attempted 1st degree murder of a law enforcement officer following yesterday’s carjacking, chase and gunfire exchange. The officer, Alexander Rethwisch, is recovering.
✓ Affidavit: https://t.co/H7yVHplMAZ#lkld pic.twitter.com/xu5upst8eG
— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) July 13, 2018
✓ Background: Yesterday’s story via 10 News
✓ Today: Update via theledger.com
Parking lots at parks and gyms are being hit more often by thieves, Sheriff Grady Judd says. It’s not enough to hide your stuff in your car because burglars know what to look for, he says, adding: “It’s got to be locked in the trunk and out of sight.”
UPDATE: Lakeland police say their preliminary review of an incident of officers restraining and kicking a homeless man showed the officers “were justified in their response and acted within our Use Of Force policy.”
The Lakeland Police Department released its own description late last night and said the two officers’ use of force is under administrative review. A noon update today said the administrative review continues but that preliminary findings show the use fo force was justified.
Today’s update said: “Both officers used various physical tactics, including strikes to the upper torso, in an attempt to gain control of John Abbott and take him into custody. Abbott was not kicked in the head. As Officer West gave an audible warning that he was deploying his Tazer, Officer Anthony stepped back to ensure he would be clear of the Tazer effects. When the Tazer failed to stop Abbott, Abbott grabbed the device from Officer West. Officer Anthony then kicked Abbott in the upper torso in an effort to make Abbott to release the weapon.”
“When you try to take somebody into custody and they react violently, you need to take appropriate action,” Chief Larry Giddens told The Ledger today.
A police spokesman told The Ledger last night that what looked to some like a running kick to the head was really a kick to the suspect’s arm.
Deputies are asking the public’s help finding the person driving a white minivan who they say burglarized three homes in south Lakeland and took an urn containing the cremated remains of retired Lakeland Police Officer Buddy Newsome.
Visitors to the new Dog Leg Woods on Cleveland Heights Boulevard said thieves broke into their vehicles and in some cases smashed windows. Police advise people to keep valuables out of plain sight.
ELSEWHERE: Lakeland police arrested a 15-year-old and are seeking another suspect in car burglaries that took place at Autumnwood Village Apartments, 1776 Harden Blvd. about 6 a.m. Sunday, The Ledger reports.
Gabriel Jacobs, 19, is hospitalized in critical condition after being shot by 66-year-old Michael Ives after Ives warned him several times not to enter his home off New Jersey Avenue around 3 a.m. Sunday, police said.
ALSO: “The homeowner was well within his rights,” an LPD spokesman tells The Ledger. ”(Jacobs) was combative with the emergency personnel on the way to the hospital. If he lives, he will be charged at least with breaking into an occupied dwelling. We know he’s not leaving the hospital anytime soon.”