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Welcome to the Polk County Sheriff's Office News Room, where the Public Information Officers (PIO's) post all of the information that they release to the news media. PIO's act as liaisons between news media organizations and the Sheriff's Office. The PIO's routinely release timely and accurate information and Crime Stoppers bulletins, and respond to routine and "breaking news" media inquiries. News releases and Crime Stoppers information can be found on this page.
PCSO's full-time Public Information Officers are Brian Bruchey, Carrie Horstman, and Alicia Manautou. The Public Information Officers can be reached by sending an e-mail collectively at PIOs@polksheriff.org.
The recent news releases sent out by the PIOs can be found here, and archived releases (older than 2017) can be found here.
A Jacksonville man killed himself Tuesday afternoon, August 8, 2023, concluding an armed standoff with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team that lasted more than four-and-a-half hours.
PCSO Crisis Negotiators tried to convince 45-year old Marquis Lynn Baker to peacefully surrender while he sat in his gray 2012 Chevrolet Impala parked in a wooded area near the Christina Animal Hospital at 6800 Church Avenue North near Mulberry.
“Our SWAT members and Crisis Negotiators have responded to armed barricaded subjects on two consecutive days. While the goal is to end these kinds of calls peacefully, the most important thing is that no deputies or innocent bystanders have been injured in either of these events—and for that, I am extremely grateful.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff.
PCSO deputies first became aware that Baker, who was wanted out of Duval County for Failure to Appear for 11-counts of Possession of Child Pornography, was in Bartow at around 10:27 am. Baker was also listed as a Missing Person based on statements he made to his defense attorney.
After locating Baker’s vehicle, deputies followed him for about five minutes until Baker turned off at the veterinarian’s office, stopped his car, and put a .40 caliber handgun to his own head.
Deputies continually communicated with Baker during the standoff trying to get him to surrender, and even provided him with a cell phone to make it easier to keep the dialogue going.
At about 3:20 pm, Baker fired a single bullet into the left side of his head. SWAT Medics immediately began life saving measures on Baker. He was transported to a local hospital but was pronounced deceased at 3:50 pm.
No deputies discharged their firearms.