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News and Investigations

News & Investigations

News Releases and Public Information

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

The recent news releases sent out by the PIOs can be found here, and archived releases (older than 2017) can be found here.

Jan 10, 2024

Frostproof JV basketball coach arrested for inappropriate relationship with student

Media Contact: Carrie Horstman, Administrator

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit detectives have arrested and charged 20-year-old Skylar Ready of Fort Meade, who is a Frostproof Middle Senior High School JV basketball coach, with four felonies related to his illegal and inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old student at the school.

The victim disclosed that she and Ready dated when they were both students at the school. She is still a student there. After Ready began working at the school he sent her sexually explicit messages, including a threat to "kill her" if she slept with anyone else.

Ready has been charged with:

  • Sex offense on student by authority figure (F2)
  • Written threat to kill (F2)
  • Transmission of material harmful to a minor (F3)
  • Use of two-way communication device in commission of a felony (F3)
  • Lewd battery (F2)
“There is no excuse for this guy using his position of authority over a student sexually. This is completely unacceptable. We applaud Polk County Public Schools taking swift action regarding this coach. We discovered this inappropriate relationship because somebody became aware of it and contacted us. It is more important than ever that if you see or hear something, say something." Grady Judd, Sheriff


Skylar Ready has been the JV boys basketball coach at Frostproof Middle-Senior High School since the 2022-23 season. He passed a background check before serving as a community coach, and will no longer have any involvement with Polk County Public Schools.

From Superintendent Fred Heid:

“This individual’s actions show an alarming lack of judgement as a coach working with student athletes. This behavior is not tolerated in our schools; we appreciate the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for investigating this matter and protecting our students.”