City Home  > Lakeland Police Department >LPD Blog

LPD News Blog

rss

Stay informed with the Lakeland Police Department News Blog.


LPD Admin
LPD Admin
LPD Admin's Blog

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. 



Join Lakeland PAL in celebrating 100 years of the National PAL organization. On November 1, 2014, the PAL Celebration Dinner and Silent Auction will be held at the Apostle Henry Ross Center from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The MC for the evening will be Smart Mouth Entertainment’s Jason Alexander and includes guest speaker, Big Milton Creagh, and live entertainment.

Tickets may be purchased in advance for $25.00 or at the door for $35.00. We also thank the sponsors of this event: Publix Super Markets Charities, Lakeland Electric, Regal Lakeland and Super Choice Foods.

WHEN:         Saturday, November 1, 2014
WHERE:      Apostle Henry Ross Center
                    1302 MLK Jr. Avenue
                    Lakeland, FL
TIME:          6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
TICKETS:   $25.00 in advance
                   $35.00 at the door

For more information, or to purchase tickets, please contact Lakeland PAL at 863-834-8970.


On July 23, 2014, a dark colored vehicle was traveling southbound in the inside lane on State Road 37 (South Florida Avenue) in the 2600 block.  The vehicle drifted left of center and entered the shared center turn lane where construction workers were located.  The vehicle struck several construction barrels and subsequently struck a construction worker, later identified as Shelby Kenneth Shull, 44 years of age.  The collision with pedestrian Shull resulted in his death.  The vehicle failed to stop after the impacts and continued southbound.  

Investigative leads resulted in information that the vehicle at the time of the crash was a black 2006 Jeep Wrangler and was being operated by Dustin Halstead, 21 years of age.  The vehicle was located and an Inspection of the vehicle revealed biohazard on the hood.  The vehicle was impounded as evidence and processed for the aforementioned biohazard inside the Lakeland Police crime lab.  The samples were submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for DNA comparison with the blood obtained from decedent Shull.  FDLE Lab report revealed a DNA match between the samples.

On Wednesday October 15, 2014 at approximately 2:30 p.m., Dustin Halstead turned himself into Traffic Homicide Investigator Michael Catalano on the charge of - Leaving the Scene of a Crash involving Death, a first degree felony.  Halstead was transported and turned over to the Polk County Jail in Bartow.


On Monday, October 13, 2014 at 2:13 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to Southwest Middle School in reference to a bomb threat. It was determined that a note containing a bomb threat had been turned in to a teacher, who notified the school administration. The school administration immediately implemented an evacuation of the school. LPD officers conducted a search and determined that no bomb existed and students were returned to classes.

On Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 11:30 a.m., a note was found by a student and turned in to the school office that contained a bomb threat. The school administration again implemented an evacuation until a search could be conducted. LPD officers responded and conducted a search of the school turning up nothing.

On October 14, 2014, an anonymous tip was received indicating information that could identify a suspect. Officers conducting the investigations into the two bomb threats followed up on the information and subsequently identified two students who were involved in the bomb threats.

On October 14, 2014 at 1:43 p.m., an 11 year old female was arrested for Bomb Threat/Making False/Hoax (F-2) for the bomb threat on October 14. She was transported to JAC. Subsequently this student was charged with a second count of Bomb Threat/Making False/Hoax (F-2) for her participation in the bomb threat from Monday, October 13, 2014. 

On October 15, 2014 at 11:00 a.m., LPD officers arrested a second 11 year old female student who was identified as having participated in the bomb threat to Southwest Middle School on October 13, 2014. She was charged with Bomb Threat/Making False/Hoax (F-2) and transported to JAC.

Many hours of school were disrupted and valuable police and school resources were utilized as a result of these threats. Parents, guardians, friends, family, please impress upon the students you know that these bomb threats are taken seriously and you will be arrested and charged. These are felony charges!