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On November 5, 2013 at approximately 12:02 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to Chili’s Restaurant, 3980 U.S. 98 North in references to an armed robbery. An employee who was taking the trash out at the rear entrance was forced back inside the restaurant by gunpoint by three armed masked men. The suspects then forced five other employees to lie down on the kitchen floor. Three patrons were also ordered into the kitchen at gunpoint by two of the suspects and ordered to lie on the floor. During the robbery, one of the suspects struck an employee in the head with a handgun causing a laceration. The suspects robbed the business and all 9 victims of their individual money. An undetermined amount of money was taken.

Violent Crimes Detective responded to investigate the armed robbery and interview witnesses. A stolen vehicle (2010 White Dodge Charger) was located on the North West corner of the Lakeland Square Mall property. This vehicle had been previously stolen from Orange Bowl Lanes, 4318 U.S. 98 North. It is undetermined if this vehicle was involved in the robbery and detectives are currently following up on possible leads at this time.

Anyone with information on the Armed Robbery is asked to contact Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.  


During last night’s LHS vs KHS football game, the Lakeland Police Department had an increased amount of officers and street lighting in the area to illuminate some darker areas on the perimeter. The Polk County School Board in partnership with LPD decided to increase security measures for the game to curtail any possible criminal activity in and around the stadium. LPD was also assisted by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputies and Mounted Patrol Unit. During this time, officers and detectives working the surrounding area recovered 6 firearms as indicated below.

1. Dante Kelly Williams, 16 yrs old, of 2849 Eight Iron Drive, Lakeland was arrested for Carrying a Concealed Firearm and Possession of a Firearm by a minor. He was arrested near the stadium at 4th Street and Virginia Avenue.
2. Rodney Tyrone Williams, 22 yrs of age, of 714 E. Lake Club Drive, Oldsmar, Fla was arrested for Carrying a Concealed Firearm. He was arrested within the stadium by a School Resource Officer.
3. Frederick Antonio Roberts, 19 yrs of age, of 1241 Lake Horney Drive, Lakeland was arrested for carrying a Concealed Weapon. Roberts was in possession of Brass Knuckles and he was arrested at 4th Street and Missouri Avenue.
4. A detective working in an undercover capacity in the area observed 4 to 5 suspicious males around a vehicle at 8th Street and Virginia Avenue. Several of the subjects fled on foot and detectives later recovered four loaded handguns under the seats of the vehicle. This case is still under investigation.


On November 1, at approximately 12:35 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to a shooting in which two subjects had been shot. The suspect, Justin Michael Footman, was visiting with the victims Kendrick Lamond McGary, 24 yrs old and Ryan Rachon McGary, 29 yrs old, at 840 North New York Avenue. While playing cards, Footman produced two firearms and forced both Kendrick and Ryan to lay face down on the kitchen floor and give him their money. Footman then shoots Ryan as he lays on the floor and Kendrick as he jumps up and flees the residence. Footman fled the scene in an unknown direction.

Both victims were transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Violent Crimes Detectives responded to the scene later evening obtained an arrest warrant signed by Judge Harb for Footman on the below listed charges:

Arrest Warrant for:
Justin Michael Footman, B/M, DOB: 11/06/1988
Height: 508 Weight: 120
Hair: Bald Eyes: Brown
1. Attempted Felony Murder, 2 cts.
2. Robbery w/Firearm, 2 cts.
3. Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon

Footman should be considered ARMED AND DANGEROUS.


Lakeland Police Department’s next Chief’s Chat will be held on Monday, November 4, 2013 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the Community Room of the Lakeland Police Department, located at 219 N Massachusetts Avenue.