City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.

Two Drive-By Shootings



LAKELAND, FL (April 26, 2014) - On April 26th, at 3:00pm, Dayquon Raheem Longs, 15 years old, was a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling southbound on Brunnell Parkway near George Jenkins Boulevard. There were three other subjects in the vehicle. A vehicle, unknown make and model, passed them firing rounds at the vehicle striking Longs in the left arm. The other subjects drove him to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center and police were notified by hospital personnel. His condition is unknown at this time. Patrol officers located the crime scene at 3:58 p.m. and Violent Crime Detectives responded to investigate. A passenger in this vehicle, Bayshawn Kelly, 15 years old is the victim in the next shooting described below.


While detectives were investigating the first shooting, another shooting occurred.  The second drive-by shooting occurred at 2nd Street and Jewel Avenue  at 6:50pm. The victim, Bayshawn Kelly was standing outside at this location when a vehicle drove by and fired several rounds hitting him in the back and arm. He was airlifted to Tampa in critical condition. There is no vehicle or suspect description in either case.


Both of these cases are currently under investigation and its unknown at this time if this was gang related or not. There is no additional information at this time. Anyone with information on either shooting can call 863-834-6900 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.




Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583-2357.

Armed Robberies, Easter Morning

Lakeland Police need to identify this suspect of one armed robbery with a knife and one attempted robbery with a knife thatoccurred on April 20, 2014, within minutes of each other. One robbery occurred at the 7-11, 3071 S. Road 98 and the other at the Grove Park Chevron, 1315 S. Rd 98, Lakeland. The robberies occurred between 6:00am and 7:00am.

In both robberies the suspect entered the stores with a shirt wrapped around his face, brandished a knife and demanded cash from the store clerk. At the 7-11, the store clerk ran into the cooler and the suspect fled with no money. Minutes later, the suspect appeared at the Grove Park Chevron where the clerk gave the suspect cash and he fled on foot. 

The images were taken off the surveillance camera from the Grove Park Chevron. Neither victim was injured during the robbery. 
The man is described as a white male, 5’08” to 5’11, 130 pounds, 18 to 25 years of age. He was wearing gray sweat pants, a two tone black and gray long sleeve shirt, and black shoes. 

If you have any information regarding these robberies, please call Detective Stacey Pough at 863-834-6966.


Allegations Against Acting Chief Giddens Unfounded - Giddens Exonerated

LAKELAND, FL (April 18, 2014) - Allegations against Acting Chief Larry Giddens by Officer Will Long are determined to be unfounded and Giddens exonerated.  City Manager Doug Thomas said, “I’m pleased that we can now close this chapter and move on.  Ultimately the allegations against Chief Giddens were unfounded  in one instance and he was exonerated in another.”  

The issue stemmed from an allegations made by Long regarding him vacating his residence at Florida Southern’s Lake Morton Apartments where he had lived as an extra duty courtesy officer.  He was asked by Florida Southern to move-out of the apartments and was given a deadline of July 28, 2013.  After some issues regarding finding a new apartment, Long asked to have an extension and it was not granted.  Ultimately, the issue rose to up the Chain of Command where Giddens called Long to discuss the situation regarding the College’s decision for Long to vacate their apartment unit.  Long accused Giddens of conduct unbecoming and harassment in the workplace following the telephone conversation. Long felt that Giddens implied that he would remove Long from traffic operations if he did not comply and move out of the Lake Morton apartments by the deadline of July 28, 2013.

Please find attached the Investigative Summary, the City Manager Findings & Recommended Actions Form, and notification letters to both Long and Giddens on the results of the report.



Teacher Arrested After Having Sex with Student

LAKELAND, FL (April 15, 2014) - On April 14, the Lakeland Police Department received information from the victim’s mother that her son was engaged in sexual activity with his English teacher who is employed at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, 4141 Medulla Road, Lakeland, Florida. The English teacher has been identified as Jennifer Christine Fichter, 29 years of age. It was discovered that the victim, 17 years of age and Fichter had been texting each other with Fichter using two different alias’ and later meeting in the early morning hours for sex in the parking lot of the Reserve Apartments, 4920 State Road 33, Lakeland. The sexual encounters occurred in Fichters vehicle.


The victim’s mother discovered this relationship after reviewing text messages from her son and she asked that Fichter respond to her residence to talk. According to the victim’s mother, Fichter admitted to the sexual encounters and professed her love for him. 


The victim admitted to his involvement with detectives saying that they met for sex a total of 3 times at the Reserve Apartments and 3 times at another location off of New Tampa Highway within the city limits. In addition, the victim admitted to sex numerous times outside the cities jurisdiction and within the jurisdiction of Polk and Hillsborough County. These incidents are currently under investigation by both agencies. 


Jennifer Christine Fichter was arrested at her residence at 11:40 p.m., and later transported to the Polk County Jail. Fichter has been charged with Unlawful Sexual Activity With A Minor (6 counts).


Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583-2357.