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On October 10, 2013, at approximately 6:30 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to 215 West Belmar Street in reference to a Strong Armed Robbery. The victim, John J. Papay, 83, called the police department from his residence to report the robbery. Papay stated that he went for his morning walk and was struck from behind at least once in the head causing him to fall to the ground. An unknown suspect then took his wallet and Papay stated that he only got a glimpse of the suspect and could not identify him.

Papay was transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center for treatment due to a severe head injury he received from the robbery. The case was assigned to Violent Crimes Detective Tim McDonald. Detective McDonald worked the case reviewing all potential evidence. On January 29, 2014, Detective McDonald  contacted the a family member of Papay to see if there was any improvements in his condition at which time Detective McDonald was informed  that Papay had passed away while in care at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center on December 18th, 2013.  The hospital advised the detective that Papay had died due to unrelated causes not related to the robbery.

The Medical Examiner was notified and ruled the death of Papay was the result of the injuries he received in the robbery. The Lakeland Police Department then notified the State Attorney’s Office that the robbery had transcended into a homicide.

No other details are being released at this point and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.

• Reported to LPD on 10/10/13
• Papay dies in the care of LRMC on 12/18/13
• LPD Det. McDonald notified of death on 1/29/14


On Thursday, October 10, 2013, at approximately 6:30 a.m., 83 year old John Papay was returning from his morning walk when he was struck in the head from behind, knocked to the ground and robbed. Mr. Papay was in the alleyway that runs east and west next to his residence at 215 ½ W. Belmar Street when he was struck by the unknown assailant. He was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he was hospitalized with a severe head injury which required surgery. In mid-December, Mr. Papay died as a result of the injuries he sustained.

Lakeland Police are asking anyone with information on this incident to contact the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, you must contact Crime Stoppers.

LPD Event #13-19898          Detective Tim McDonald


On January 14th, at 1:36 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to 1615 W. memorial Blvd in reference to a shooting. The victim, Jamal Rashaad Fleming, 33, was found in the parking lot with a gunshot wound. As was a passenger in a vehicle and got out to pump some gas when he was injured by a gunshot. He was transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center and is in critical condition. The motive for the shooting is unknown at this time and there has not been an arrest. Violent Crime Detectives are currently working the case, following up on leads and canvassing the area. There are no other details at this time.


UPDATE
October 28, 2013

The homicide victim has now been identified as 43 year old, Thomas Howard Garrison.  His next of kin, brother Frederick Parks, Jr. of Miramar, FL has been notified.  As of this Media Release an autopsy has not been completed. 

*****ORIGINAL RELEASE*****

On October 24, 2013 at approximately 10:12 p.m., several 911 calls were received about gunshots in the area of Gilmore Avenue and Parker Street. Patrol Officers responded and upon arrival located an adult male with a gunshot wound. The unknown male was found lying in the front yard of 708 East Parker Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The decedent has not been positively identified. An autopsy has been scheduled.

There are no arrests and no further details are being released at this time due to the ongoing investigation. As further information becomes available, updates will be released.