POLK COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– On Sunday, August 22, 2021, PCSO detectives arrestedÂ 57-year-old Joseph OâConnor of Winter HavenÂ following a neighborhood disturbance that lead to two deputiesâ patrol cars being rammed.
According to the preliminary investigation and witness statements, shortly before 2:00 p.m., OâConnor drove a white Dodge pick-up truck into the yard of a residence in the Schalamar Creek Golf and Country Club in unincorporated Lakeland, damaging the sprinkler system.READ MORE: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Received Funding For A High Visibility Enforcement Initiative
The homeowner called the Sheriffâs Office.Â When the first deputy arrived and attempted to make contact with the suspect, OâConnor sped away. With his emergency lights and sirens on, the deputy followed OâConnor and attempted to make another traffic stop. OâConnor stopped at the intersection of Alpine Circle and Armitage Place, but when the deputy approached his truck, he again fled.
Due to the areaâs residential and golf cart traffic, deputies stopped following OâConnor, and called additional units, including the agencyâs helicopter, to respond. OâConnor was located in his truck parked on Champion Drive.
Deputies maneuvered two marked patrol vehicles, one in front of the pick-up truck and one at the rear, to prevent OâConnor from fleeing again. OâConnor then tried to flee again by ramming the patrol vehicle in front of his truck and then backing into the one behind him.READ MORE: Polk County School Cafeteria Worker Arrested for Murdering Boyfriend
When OâConnor realized he wasnât able to drive away, he yelled at the deputies,Â âGet the F*** out of hereâÂ andÂ âJust F*** shoot me.âÂ While still sitting in his truck, OâConnor grabbed a hunting knife and threatened the deputies. He then dropped the knife in the floor of the truck and rammed the patrol vehicles again.
Deputies then used several less than lethal techniques (Taser, pepper spray, and bean bag rounds) to remove OâConnor from the pick-up truck. He was safely taken into custody.
âThis was a dangerous situation that put the neighborhood and my deputies in jeopardy. Iâm proud of my deputies for their quick action and for taking this fleeing felon into custody before he hurt or killed someone,â said Grady Judd, Sheriff
OâConnor was arrested and charged with:
Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer (2-counts) (F1)
Burglary of an Occupied Residence (F2)
Fleeing to Elude (2-counts) (F3)
Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer with Violence (11-counts) (F3)
Criminal Mischief (2-counts) (F3)
Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer without Violence (M1)
Trespassing with Larceny (M1)
Criminal Mischief (M2)
Failure to Obey a Lawful Order (M2)
OâConnorâs criminal history includes three misdemeanor arrests for Battery, Domestic Violence Battery, and DUI.