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The Lakeland Police Department wants to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket this holiday season. Each year, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times, millions of people will be travelling to visit with family and friends. What this means is that there will be more vehicles on the roads, and more danger as we travel. It is always important to buckle up, but when there are the additional vehicles on the roads, it is more important than ever. We want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday season; therefore the Lakeland Police Department will join with departments across the state in the Click It or Ticket Safety Belt Enforcement Wave. The enforcement runs from Monday, November 17, 2014 through Sunday, November 30, 2014 at midnight.

Nationwide, seat belt usage is at an all-time high of 87 percent, but the Click It or Ticket campaign aims to reach that remaining 14 percent. In 2012, there were 10,335 unbuckled occupants killed in crashes—52 percent of all passenger vehicle occupants killed that year. At night, the numbers are even more disturbing. During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2012, law enforcement noted that 69 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed at night were unrestrained, as compared to 46 percent during the day. 

The single best thing anyone can do to protect themself and save lives is to buckle up. It only takes a second!

For more information about traveling safely during Thanksgiving, please visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.



On Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 8:03 p.m., Lakeland Police responded to a traffic crash on State Road 33. The investigation revealed that a 2001 Ford Focus was travelling westbound on SR 33 at the same time as a 2003 Toyota minivan was travelling eastbound. The minivan traveled through a left hand curve then entered the westbound lane of travel.  The two vehicle’s collided in a near head-on collision within the westbound travel lane.  Both vehicles were at final rest and disabled.  

The driver of the minivan has been identified as 55 year old Dakshesh M. Patel of Lakeland. The driver of the Ford Focus is identified as 23 year old Austin W. Guy of Lakeland. 

The operators of both vehicles were transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center. A 6-week old infant was in the passenger vehicle and is recovering fine with the grandmother.  The front right passenger, 21 year old Kayla M. Bryant, was pronounced dead at the scene.  There were no visual indicators of impairment by the operator of the minivan. Both drivers were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

Next of kin has been notified. The scene was marked for follow-up investigation.  The investigation is ongoing and post follow-up is being completed. 



On March 31, 2014 at 7:55 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department received a call in reference to an adult male found deceased in a ditch in the area of 1100 Hodges Road. The deceased male was identified as Demetri...ce Tavontate Stacy, B/M, DOB 9/14/91, 1437 North Webster Avenue, Lakeland, Fla. The autopsy revealed the victim died of multiple gunshots wounds.

Evidence at the scene revealed that Stacy had been transported to the address on Hodges Road from another location. The Violent Crimes Detectives determined that the homicide occurred at 526 W. Myrtle Street. On April 3rd, the residence at this location was destroyed by arson.

During the investigation, detectives were hindered by witnesses who refused to cooperate or provide any statements. Detectives developed a suspect and a Grand Jury convened on October 16 at which time an indictment was received. During the Grand Jury, two witnesses who testified were charged with perjury in an official proceeding related to a capital felony. Those witnesses have been identified as; Marcus Andrews, 10/20/89 and Ian Young, 2/19/87. Both remain in jail as of this date.

The suspect, Marquell Rashad “Shad” Howard, DOB 11/28/84, was indicted on the below listed charges:

1. First Degree Murder
2. Tampering with a witness (2cts)
3. Aggravated Assault with a firearm
4. Tampering with physical evidence
5. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

Howard is 5’6”, 160 lbs and his dreads may have been cut. He may possibly be driving a 2002 Ford explorer, 4 door, listed as gray but appears gold/champagne in color. The tag # is 239-1JE and he has been seen recently driving this vehicle. His last known address is 1550 11th Street NE, Winter Haven.

Howard is known to be in possession of firearms and should be considered armed and dangerous. If you have seen Howard or know where he is, please call Detective Brian Wallace with the Lakeland Police Department at 834-8968, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477). Anyone with information that helps locate Shad Howard can call Heartland Crime Stoppers, remain anonymous, and would be eligible for a CASH reward.


On October 28, 2014 at approx. 5:25 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to an accident with serious injuries. The crash occurred at the intersection of West Memorial Blvd and Crutchfield Road. The crash occurred in the inside lane of west bound traffic on Memorial Blvd.

 

The preliminary investigation revealed that a white colored commercial motor vehicle (CMV truck & trailer) was traveling south bound on Crutchfield Road approaching the intersection of West Memorial Boulevard. A green, 2001 Honda Civic  (L. Montanez ) was traveling west bound on West Memorial Blvd in the inside lane. The CMV (driven by R. Smith) began entering the intersection and began its turn. While the CMV was in its turn, the Honda Civic applied its brakes attempting to avoid the impact but was unsuccessful. The Honda impacted the rear section of the trailer. The Honda continued under the trailer and exited the other side, resulting in the roof being sheared off. The Honda came to a final rest facing west bound in the middle of the intersection. The driver of the Honda was transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center in critical condition and there is no further update on his condition at this time.

 

Traffic on West Memorial Blvd heading west bound was blocked off for approx. 3 hours during the crash investigation.  This investigation is ongoing and no charges have filed at this time.

 

Driver of CMV – Ronald J. Smith, 57 yoa

Address: 2297 Indian Ford Road, Valdosta, Georgia.

Had seat belt on at the time of accident and not injured.

 

Driver of Honda – Luis Alberto Montanez, 26 yoa

Address: 4607 Bostick Circle, Tampa, Fla.

Did not have seat belt on.