Date: November 1, 2000 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Sterling Ivey, 863 534-6377 or 819-0221 pager
PCSO Assists Frostproof Police With Barricaded Suspect

The Polk County Sheriff's Office, Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Hostage Negotiators responded to a single home residence this morning to assist the Frostproof Police Department with a barricaded suspect inside the residence. 

Shortly before 9 a.m. the Frostproof Police Department responded to a possible shooting at 28 E. H Street, across the street from the Foodway Shopping Center. Tommy Tump Meeks, DOB 3/23/68, of 28 E. H St. in Frostproof, was in an altercation with his girlfriend, Debbie Underwood of 1 W. Frostproof Rd. in Frostproof. The suspects parents tried unsuccessfully to intervene in the dispute, and later fled the residence. The suspect took his girlfriend inside the house and held her against her will for over 2 and half hours. 

Polk County Sheriff's Office Emergency Response Team Members and Hostage Negotiators responded to the scene to safely negotiate the release of the girlfriend. About 12:30 p.m., the suspect peacefully surrendered to Sheriff's Office ERT members who had surrounded the house. There were no serious injuries reported and the victim was later taken to Lake Wales Medical Center by family members as a precautionary measure. 

At this time, Tommy Meeks is being charged with armed kidnapping, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a short barreled shotgun and violation of probation. Meeks has an extensive criminal background including the following convictions: 

1991- Convicted of attempted homicide, possession of firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a concealed weapon and aggravated battery. 

1987-Convicted of attempted homicide and smuggling. 

The case is still under investigation by the Frostproof Police Department, and additional charges are pending.

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Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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