LPD News Blog


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On May 19th, at approximately 12:05 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to the area of 1010 Hollingsworth Drive in reference to an attempted sexual battery and kidnapping. The victim, 22, years of age stated she was jogging on the path around Lake Hollingsworth, heading southbound. The victim then glanced back and observed the suspect running up behind her. The suspect grabbed the victim from behind and dragged her off the pathway into a small wooded area between the lake and path. The victim was thrown to the ground and the suspect attempted to pull her shorts off.

The victim then began asking the suspect questions and talking to him calmly to divert his attention which seemed to work. The suspect and victim then got up and walked back to the path as the victim continued to engage the suspect in conversation. The victim then was able to break away from the suspect and flee at which time she called 911. The suspect fled in the opposite direction.

The suspect is described as a black male, 5’5”, in his mid 20’s, medium build, with plaited braids and a black doo rag. The suspect was wearing no shirt, black sweat pants, and white socks with gold writing on the toe.

Police K-9 and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office air unit responded to the area but were unable to locate the suspect. Detectives obtained the attached composite drawing from the victim’s description today.  

 Possible Related Incident

 On May 20, 2015 at approximately 9:35 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to the area of Lake Hollingsworth and Melton Avenue in reference to a subject performing lewd acts on himself.  The suspect in this case was a black male wearing a white shirt and dark pants and was in his mid 20’s. He appeared to be watching females walk the lake on the jogging path. The witness who was passing by stated the suspect was sitting on a bench in front of Florida Southern. Police officers circulated the area and were unable to locate the suspect.

If you have information about either of these cases, please contact Det. Paula Tolbert at 863-834-8981 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, you must contact Crime Stoppers.




On May 23rd, the victim, 17 yrs old at the time of the incident and a student at Lakeland Senior High School (LHS) responded to the Lakeland Police Department to report a sexual battery. The victim stated that the suspect, Joseph Tillman, 18 yrs old and also a student of LHS was at her house assisting her with some studies when he sexually battered her on the carport. This location is within the jurisdiction of the Lakeland Police Department. The victim stated these actions were against her will and unwanted. This incident occurred on March 29th, 2014 and was not reported until May 23rd.


On May 29th, detectives received information on a second victim and she was interviewed. The victim, 17 yrs old and a student at LHS, stated that at the end of January or beginning of February, she was at a park located within the city limits of Lakeland and speaking to Tillman. The victim stated that she went to use the restroom and Tillman entered the restroom afterwards locking the door. The victim advised she was then sexually battered against her will.


On May 29th, at 10:00pm, Joseph Tillman was arrested at his residence, 1036 Butter Cup Drive, Lakeland, Fla. 


On April 14, the Lakeland Police Department received information from the victim’s mother that her son was engaged in sexual activity with his English teacher who is employed at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, 4141 Medulla Road, Lakeland, Florida. The English teacher has been identified as Jennifer Christine Fichter, 29 years of age. It was discovered that the victim, 17 years of age and Fichter had been texting each other with Fichter using two different alias’ and later meeting in the early morning hours for sex in the parking lot of the Reserve Apartments, 4920 State Road 33, Lakeland. The sexual encounters occurred in Fichters vehicle.


The victim’s mother discovered this relationship after reviewing text messages from her son and she asked that Fichter respond to her residence to talk. According to the victim’s mother, Fichter admitted to the sexual encounters and professed her love for him.

The victim admitted to his involvement with detectives saying that they met for sex a total of 3 times at the Reserve Apartments and 3 times at another location off of New Tampa Highway within the city limits. In addition, the victim admitted to sex numerous times outside the cities jurisdiction and within the jurisdiction of Polk and Hillsborough County. These incidents are currently under investigation by both agencies who assisted in the investigation.

Jennifer Christine Fichter was arrested at her residence at 11:40 p.m., and later transported to the Polk County Jail. Fichter has been charged with Unlawful Sexual Activity With A Minor (6 counts).

Lakeland Police are investigating the Sexual Battery of a Juvenile and need help locating the suspect in the case. Lakeland Police have an active warrant for the arrest of Dominique Smith. 

The sexual battery is believed to have occurred in the latter part of 2013 with a victim that was known to the suspect.  Per FL Statute 119.071(2)(h)1 no further information will be released that will tend to identify the victim. 

At this point in time, it is believed that the suspect is eluding law enforcement. 

Suspect Information:

Dominique Denard Smith
19 years old, 5’7”-5’9”, thin build, dark complexion
LKA: 3215 Baird Ave #J63
Charge:  Sexual battery of a juvenile

Smith is known to frequent the area of Brandy Place in Lakeland, FL. His hair is a little longer and bushier than depicted in the photo.

Anyone with information on the location of Dominique Smith is asked to contact Detective Jason Perez at 863-834-8958, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, you must contact Crime Stoppers.