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Arrest Made In Triple Traffic Fatality from July 9, 2016

LAKELAND, FL (April 24, 2017) - On Saturday, July 9, 2016 at approximately 11:36 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department Traffic Homicide Team responded to the scene of a fatal crash involving (3) fatalities. An orange colored Volkswagen GTI was traveling southbound in the inside lane on US 98 north in the 4900 block. A blue Nissan Sentra was traveling northbound in the middle lane on US 98 North in the 4900 block. The Volkswagen was street racing a light in color, possible white, Ford Mustang.  The driver of the Volkswagen, later identified as Michael Marrero lost control and entered the northbound lanes of US 98 North. Marrero then crossed through the inside northbound lane and entered the middle lane of US 98 North at which time the front of the Volkswagen impacted the Nissan on the front left corner. The impact redirected the Nissan causing it to rotate, flip and come to a final rest approximately 30 feet away from the point of impact. Marrero continued in the Volkswagen coming to a final rest approximately 49 feet away from the point of impact in the roadway. 

The operator of the Nissan, Christopher Lee Stewart Jr., 22 years old, and the front seat passenger, Kathrin Renee Pitock, 22 years of age, died at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. The rear passenger, Brittany Danielle Lewis, 25 years of age, was transported to the Lakeland Regional Health Center in critical condition but died a short time later from injuries she sustained in the crash. 

During the on-scene investigation independent witnesses were interviewed and described Marrero’s driving pattern prior the crash to be consistent with street racing. One witness stated that he observed Marrero racing a white Mustang at an estimated speed of 80 miles per hour or higher. 

A second witness stated that he was southbound on US 98 North, when Marrero and a white mustang drove by him racing and that the mustang cut in front of Marrero causing him to lose control and enter the northbound lanes of traffic.

A third witness stated she observed both of the vehicles going approximately 110 to 120 miles per hour and she believed that they were racing. 

Traffic reconstruction revealed that the Volkswagen driven by Marrero was traveling at a minimum of 73.37 miles per hour at the beginning of the skid marks and an impact speed of 65.14 miles per hour, in a posted 45 miles per hour zone. 

Based on witness statements, roadway evidence and reconstruction, Marrero was arrested today, April 24th on (3) counts of Vehicular Homicide, F2. Marrero was arrested at his residence without incident and later transported to the Polk County Jail. A video of the arrest has been posted on the LakelandPD Facebook site. 


Michael Joseph Marrero, DOB, 11/9/89, 514 Jamestown Avenue, Lakeland, Florida. 


Pedestrian Killed In Traffic Crash

Pedestrian Killed In Traffic Crash

LAKELAND, FL (April 17, 2017) - On Monday, April 17, 2017 at approximately 4:47 p.m., Lakeland Police officers responded to the area of Beacon Road and Lincoln Avenue, in reference to a traffic crash involving a pedestrian struck by a car.

Steven Higgins, age 57, of Lakeland, was struck and killed by a 2001 Nissan Sentra driven by 29-year-old Steven Statterfield. According to reports, Higgins was standing on the sidewalk waiting for the pedestrian light to change to cross Beacon Road when he was struck. Statterfield was traveling east on Beacon Road and for unknown reasons, lost control of the vehicle, drove up on the sidewalk and struck Higgins. The vehicle continued traveling through the intersection, striking a house on the south east corner of the intersection.

Emergency medical professionals from the Lakeland Fire Department and Polk County Fire Rescue arrived on scene and began assisting officers in providing life saving measures. Higgins was transported to Lakeland Regional Health Center as a trauma alert. Sadly, Higgins passed away due to the injuries sustained in the crash at approximately 7:42 p.m. Statterfield did not sustain any injuries.

Members of the LPD Traffic Homicide Unit closed the area surrounding the intersection of Beacon Road and Lincoln Avenue for approximately three and a half hours.

No charges have been filed at this time. This is an open case and the Lakeland Police Department Traffic Homicide team is continuing to investigate.

Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583.2357.

Suspect Charged After Eating Pancakes in Roadway

Suspect Charged After Eating Pancakes in Roadway

 (March 24, 2017) - On March 21st at 10:50 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department received a call about a man sitting in a crosswalk of the eastbound lanes of Memorial Boulevard and Brunnell Parkway. The caller stated the subject was sitting in a chair with a small “TV” table in front of him eating what appeared to be pancakes. Responding officers were unable to locate the subject and determined that he had left the area prior to their arrival.

A video of this incident was later posted on Facebook and shared in a message to the LakelandPD Facebook. In addition, several people tagged the video with his name, Kiaron Thomas.

The incident was followed up by the Neighborhood Liaison Officers on March 23rd and officers determined that he lived approximately 100 yards south of the intersection of the incident. Thomas was interviewed and he admitted that he did it as a prank.

Thomas’s actions prevented vehicles from moving and created an obstruction. Thomas was charged with: Placing an Obstruction in the Roadway and Disrupting the free flow of traffic and issued a court date of April 25, 2017.

The 911 calls will be emailed upon request. Attached is the video link which is still active at:


Kiaron Thomas, 21 years old, Lakeland, Florida. 

Forgery Suspects Gets Plastic Surgery

Forgery Suspects Gets Plastic Surgery

 (March 23, 2017) -  On March 2nd, the Lakeland Police Department initiated a police report revealing that the Watson Clinic, 1600 Lakeland Hills Boulevard, was the victim of a forgery. On March 3rd, Det. Dustin Fetz began his investigation.

It was discovered that at an unknown time and unknown means, a resident of Illinois identified as K.C. to protect her identity, had her identity and personal information stolen. Several credit applications had been opened in K.C.’s name that she did not approve. One of the applications was for Care Credit at Watson Clinic. The suspect, Nyaira Thomas, presented herself to Watson Clinic staff as K.C. and had a fraudulent Illinois ID with her picture on it. Thomas had two procedures done on separate occasions.

On February 20th, Thomas received breast implants, liposuction of her flanks, and the fat from the flanks were placed in her buttocks. The cost for this procedure was $10, 495.00. On February 27th, Thomas received one (1) CC of Juvederm in her lips at a cost of $530.00.

The total cost is $11,025.00.

Det. Fetz was able to locate a Lake Wales address off of a credit application report and Det. Fetz furthermore located a witness that identified Thomas. Further investigation consisting of witness interviews and photo packs that identified Thomas as the suspect. A complaint affidavit was filed charging Thomas with:

   1.Criminal Use of Personal ID

   2. Forgery

   3.Grand Theft over $10,000.00

Thomas’s whereabouts are unknown at this time and if anyone knows her location, they can contact Det. Dustin Fetz at 863-834-8993 or via email at

Suspect - Nyaira Ronnie Thomas, 20 years old, Last Known Address: 112 Sunrise Parkway, Lake Wales, Florida.