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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.
Three local teenage suspects were taken to the hospital early Thursday morning, August 31, 2023, after they crashed a vehicle they had just stolen.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the single vehicle crash by an Apple iPhone that belonged to one of the suspects. The phone detected the crash, and auto-reported it at around 2:35 am.
PCSO deputies and Polk County Fire Rescue responded to the crash scene on Lake Hatchineha Road (County Road 542) near Firetower Road, in Poinciana. Upon their arrival, they found the suspects crawling on the ground near a wrecked black Kia Sorrento.
“The three suspects were out committing serious crimes, and it almost ended tragically for them. It’s too early to tell if they will have any severe long-term problems due to their injuries, but regardless, we’re going to hold them accountable to the fullest extent for their crimes. This criminal behavior isn’t going to be tolerated. They could have very easily killed themselves, or an innocent person.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff
15-year old Saul Lyons and 14-year old Justhin Gautier suffered serious injuries and were airlifted to the hospital. Lyons is listed in critical but stable condition, and Gautier is stable. A 14-year old female was transported by ambulance with internal injuries; her condition is reported to be stable. All three are expected to survive.
The Kia Sorrento had been stolen from the area of Dogwood Road and Narcissus Lane, about three miles north of the crash.
Lyons and Gautier will be charged with Grand Theft Motor Vehicle (F3) and Conspiracy to Commit Grand Theft Motor Vehicle (F3). The female, who was picked-up by the other two suspects after they stole the vehicle, is being charged with Trespass in Conveyance (M2).