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LAKELAND, FL (October 5, 2016) - On October 5, 2016 at approximately 10:40 p.m., Officer Derek Gulledge observed a vehicle in the area of Ingram Avenue and S. Road 98, that had cut him off in traffic causing him to hit his brakes. Officer Gulledge then ran the tag of the vehicle and it came back listed as a 2015 Nissan Altima, 4-door stolen out of Winter Haven on August 19, 2016.

Officer Gulledge followed the stolen vehicle waiting for additional police units to assist and he did not use his emergency lights at this time as not to alert the driver. At Kathleen Road and 10th Street, officers attempted to block the stolen vehicle in to prevent a pursuit. The driver was able to maneuver his vehicle around the police cars and avoid being blocked in. The suspect accelerated fleeing to the Lakewood Terrace Apartments, 1315 West 14th Street.

The driver entered the main entrance in the middle of the complex and tried to stop the vehicle and it slid into a tree. The suspect then jumped out and fled on foot. Officers observed two additional passengers in the vehicle and they were taken into custody without incident for questioning. The driver was observed by another officer running into the breezeway of an apartment building. Additional officers on the perimeter were confident the suspect was in one of four apartments.  Further investigation by the officers revealed that one of the passengers, Larexia Honors lived in apartment #D-14 on the second floor in the same area that the suspect was believed to be hiding. The other three nearby apartments were checked and cleared by the officers. Honors gave the officers a verbal and written consent to check her apartment for the suspect.

Officers knocked on the door and no one responded. Police K-9 responded to assist and officers unlocked the door at which time two verbal warnings for the suspect to surrender were given. After no response was heard, the K-9 was released into the apartment and officers immediately heard a gunshot. Officers entered the apartment and located the suspect in a bedroom with a single gunshot to his forehead, and the handgun lying underneath him. The handgun is a KEL-Tec, PF-9, and it was loaded with six additional rounds. The suspect was transported to Lakeland Regional Health in grave condition.

Detectives responded to the scene and the two passengers were interviewed. Both passengers said they had been picked up earlier by the suspect in Lakeland. The mother of the suspect was also interviewed and she stated that during this time frame, the suspect called her and stated, “I’m not going back to jail, I’m going to kill myself” and then he hung up.

The suspect has been identified as Dayoshis Carter, 19 years of age, 407 Lee Street, Auburndale, Fl. He has a total of 13 arrest some of which include:

·       Simple Battery

·       Resisting an Officer

·       Theft

·       Disorderly Conduct

·       Possession of Marijuana

·       Trespassing

·       Aggravated Assault with a Weapon

·       Homicide

·       Weapon Offense

·       Fleeing to Elude an Officer

No officers fired shots or were injured during this incident and it’s very unfortunate that Carter decided to shoot himself instead of turning himself in. This investigation is still ongoing and for additional information of the stolen vehicle, please contact the Winter Haven Police Department.


LPD 12th Annual Open House

LPD 12th Annual Open House

The Lakeland Police Department will host their 12th Annual Open House on Saturday, October 15th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This free event gives citizens the opportunity to go behind the scenes with Lakeland’s finest. This year’s event is focused on “See Something. Say Something”.  During this fun-filled family day, you can meet members of the SWAT team, take a peek inside LPD’s mobile command center, see the armored rescue vehicle up close and check out the k-9 team in action!  There will be tours of the police station beginning at 10:30 a.m. and running until 1:30 p.m. These tours include the Crime Lab, Communications Center and the Emergency Operations Center. The Community Services Unit will be doing bicycle helmet fittings and giving away free helmets to the children. Plenty of children’s activities, live entertainment and free hot dogs and popcorn make for a guaranteed good time!  

So gather your family, friends and neighbors and come out and enjoy a day with the Lakeland Police Department.



Due to a water line break portions of Lake Hollingsworth Drive between Collins Lane and Crystal Lake Drive will be closed until repairs are made. This work is expected to take one day to complete. As a caution the walking path will also be closed in the area of the construction site per LPD.

For questions about the closure, you may contact Troy McCain, Pavement Coordinator, at (863) 860-5846.


Ashton Bardwell

Media Relations, Shield The Badges Inc

1431 E. Gary Road. Lakeland, Florida 33801




Photo Opportunity and Media Announcement


Who:   Lakeland Police Chief, Larry Giddens will be a guest at Lakeland gun store, Derringer Firearms, to announce support for the new 501©3 corporation, Shield The Badges. This new corporation was formed by store manager Ashton Bardwell, who is also the wife of a Lakeland Police officer and daughter of a Polk Sheriff’s Office deputy. 

WHAT:  Shield The Badges (Non-profit 501©3) launches fundraising program to buy an additional layer of protective body armor for Lakeland Police Officers.  These special carrier vests are designed to help protect law enforcement in active shooter situations with high caliber rifle fire.

WHEN: Friday, September 30th at 1:30 P.M.

WHERE: Derringer Firearms Inc. at 1433 E. Gary Rd. Lakeland, Florida 33801

WHY:  Recent attacks against law enforcement, around the country, resulting in deaths and severe injuries moved Mrs. Bardwell to gather information about equipment that might keep her husband and father safer while on the job. 

After recent tragedies targeting police officers in cities like Dallas and Baton Rouge, Ashton Bardwell became more concerned with the safety of her husband, a Lakeland Police Officer and her father, a Polk County Deputy. While talking on social media with friends and family, Bardwell found that many other citizens would be supportive of fundraising efforts to help keep local law enforcement safe. Because her employer had already instituted a program of giving out yard signs and bumper stickers that read "Support Law Enforcement", Bardwell was confident Derringer Firearms owners would also support the cause. Gun store owner, Dan Derringer, was quick to get on board and assisted Bardwell in forming a legal non-profit corporation through the IRS and Derringer's business CPA. 

Bardwell began researching the available options on the market. She reviewed price, quality, weight, durability, ballistic data and the preference of Chief Larry Giddens and administrative staff.  After weeks of meetings, dozens of calls, and hours online, Bardwell completed the task of putting all the pieces together and she was able to determine an initial fundraising goal of $63,000.  The selected vest will be available on display this Friday.

Gun store owner, Derringer said, "Ashton, her husband, and father are all part of our family.  Lakeland police officers are also part of our Lakeland family. This group of a brave men and women deserve this additional layer of safety equipment to help bring them home to their families daily.  Ashton’s hard work and passion for this project is something special.  Of course, we are behind her and share her concerns to keep her husband and father safe." Bardwell said that she hopes to assist other Polk law enforcement agencies after the Lakeland Police Department.