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Violent Crimes Detectives worked throughout the evening on September 17 investigating a series of illegal events that occurred which lead to the traffic crash yesterday that Zhariya A. Holloway, 17 years of age, was killed in. Listed below is timeline of those events.

 

On September 16th, at approx. 11:24 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to 828 Lexington Street in reference to a burglary of a residence. The homeowner, Zachary Edwards, returned home at around 11:20 p.m. and observed three unknown black males jumping out the southwest rear bedroom window of his residence. The suspects had dropped a duffel bag that had some of Edward’s belongings inside and then fled down an alley. Several other items were stolen from the residence and are still missing.

 

Uniformed officers and members of the Street Crimes Unit (SCU) responded to the area. SCU officers were in an unmarked police car and were checking the area of Angelina Lane a few blocks away from the burglary. At this time, they observed a vehicle backing out of a parking space at a quick pace. The officers could see that 2 black males were in the front seat and another occupant was in the rear seat. They continued on Angelina Lane and then tuned right onto Palmetto Street. SCU officers noticed that the vehicle was speeding up and had turned down Ingraham Avenue. SCU officers believed that this was possibly the suspect’s vehicle.  After the vehicle turned onto Lime Street and was now 4 to 5 blocks in front of them, officers discontinued following the vehicle due to their erratic driving. The officers discontinued their efforts in an attempt to stop the vehicle. The officers advised police communications that they had lost sight of the vehicle.

 

On September 17, 2014, sometime prior to 3:00 a.m., one of the suspects in the vehicle, Kaelin McKenzie Moody, called his father, John Allen Lott, and stated they had been in an accident at Sikes and Central Avenue. The father responded to the accident scene and located the vehicle in the wooded area. He then called the Lakeland Police Department and officers arrived at 3:07am. Officers located a 1997 Chevrolet, 2dr, Monte Carlo with Zhariya A. Holloway deceased in the back seat. The father and Kaelin McKenzie Moody was present when officers arrived on scene. McKenzie had some superficial injures as a result of the accident. The vehicle was towed to the police department’s crime scene storage facility to be processed.

 

While detectives are conducting their initial investigation and the traffic crash was being worked, Tony Holloway, reported his 1997 Chevrolet, Motel Carlo as stolen at 6:39 am from 731 Angelina Lane #3. This is the same vehicle recovered at the traffic crash. Holloway had stated that he had spoken to Kaelin McKenzie Moody earlier in the evening and he advised that Moody lived at 716 Angelina Lane #C. Holloway’s vehicle was left unlocked and with the keys inside at the time of the theft and had been stolen sometime after 8:00pm. When the stolen vehicle was examined at the crime lab, stolen property from victim’s house at 828 Lexington Street was located in the vehicle.

 

At the time of the crash, the vehicle had four occupants:

1.     Johnathan Deshawn Lott (Driver), DOB 3/26/96, 501 Lakeview Drive, Poinciana, Florida.

2.     Kaelin McKenzie Moody, DOB 1/19/96, 716 Angelina Lane #C, Lakeland.

3.     Juvenile 15 years of age.

4.     Zhariya A. Holloway, (deceased) 17 years of age, 932 Augusta Street, Lakeland.

 

Kaelin Moody and the 15 year old juvenile have been interviewed by detectives and they provided details of their involvement. Detectives are working with the State Attorney’s Office on the appropriate criminal charges which are forthcoming.

 

On September 17th, late in the evening, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Johnathan Lott and he was arrested in Orlando at 1760 South Rio-Grande Drive. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrest.

 

Johnathan Lott was charged with:

1. Burglary of a Residence

2. Grand theft

3. Grand Theft Auto

4. Burglary of a conveyance

 

This investigation is still ongoing and additional charges may be forthcoming.

 


On September 17, 2014, at 3:07 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to a traffic crash on Sikes Blvd and Central Avenue. The vehicle, 1997 Chevrolet, 2dr, was south bound on Sikes Blvd in the inside lane and appeared to initiate a right turn onto Central Avenue. The vehicle lost control and left the roadway going airborne for a short distance and then struck a tree. The vehicles rotated counter clockwise and came to a final rest entangled in the wooded area west of the tree.

 

The decedent was located in the back seat and was pronounced deceased by Fire/Recue at the scene. The decedent has been identified as Zhariya A. Holloway, 12/1/96, 932 Augusta Street, Lakeland, Florida. The next of kin has been notified.

 

Police are still investigating the accident in an attempt to determine who was driving the vehicle and also to identify any other passengers that may have been in the vehicle. No other details are being released at this time



Need to Identify – Suspects in Stolen Trailer/Motorcycles

On Sunday, August 24, 2014, there was a grand theft of a trailer with two motorcycles from the Travelodge, 3425 Highway 98 N. 

The trailer was later recovered at a bank on Lakeland Hills Boulevard. Bartow Police Department recovered one motorcycle after a black male driving it ran from them and wrecked the motorbike, the black male was able to elude officers. The other motorcycle was recovered after a white male dropped it off running at the Tax Collector Office on N Massachusetts Avenue and got into an SUV and drove away. 

Anyone with information on the identification of these individuals is asked 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 #14-17424                                       Detective Bailey



A press conference will be held today, September 16, 1:00pm at the Lakeland Police Department, 3rd floor, room 3a. At this time we will discuss the arrest of Michael Emmanuel Taveras, 28 years old, a Southwest Middle School teacher employed by the Polk County School Board. Taveras was arrested late last night for Sexual Battery (3 counts) of a student 14 years of age from Southwest Middle School.

 

***UPDATE***

 

The parents of the victim reported the sexual battery to the Lakeland Police Department on September 13, 2014. The victim had confided in a counselor that she had sex with a school teacher at Southwest Middle School in Lakeland. The victim is no longer a student at Southwest Middle School and reported the incident first occurred on June 6 when she was completed community service hours at the school. The victim stated that while in one of the classrooms, the defendant approached her from the rear and sexually battered her. The victim knew the defendant as he was previously her teacher.

 

On August 11, the victim reported that she was again at the school obtaining community service hours and working under the direction of the defendant. The victim was in a media classroom when she was approached by the defendant at which time he pulled out his penis and motioned for her to perform oral sex. The defendant then slid her shorts off and sexually battered the victim.

 

On September 15, detectives interviewed the victim and obtained additional details. On more than one occasion, the defendant brought a 50ml mini Jack Daniels bottle of alcohol to the school for the victim. He also had given her gifts such as socks, electronic cigarettes, lingerie and a t-shirt. The defendant and the victim also used a social network site called Kik to communicate.

 

An arrest warrant was obtained for Michael Emmanuel Taveras and he was arrested yesterday evening at 11:45 pm at his residence in Winter Haven. Taveras is currently being held on no bond. Detectives recovered items of evidentiary value from Taveras residence that corroborated the victims statement along with four computers.