Date: August 15, 2004 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Michal Shanley, (863) 534-6631 OR (863) 819-0397 Pager

Carrie Rodgers, (863) 534-6217 OR (863) 819-1856 Pager

PCSO Update: Ongoing Hurricane Charley Recovery Operation

The Polk County Sheriff's Office is continuing to support the ongoing Hurricane Charley recovery operation. PCSO deputies and support personnel are working non-stop to respond to any possible storm-related emergencies.

In storm-related news:

* PCSO is continuing to direct traffic at 12 intersections across the areas of storm damage to assist traffic flow. The PCSO is focusing their search and recovery operation in the areas hardest hit by the storm: Timberline Estates in Lake Wales, Lake of the Hills in Lake Wales and Lake Wales Estates.

* PCSO detectives are conducting two death investigations that initially appear to be the possible result of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator left running in a Winter Haven residence. A final determination of
the cause of death will be made by the Polk County Medical Examiner following an autopsy scheduled for tomorrow (Monday, Aug. 16). PCSO deputies responded this morning to a residence located at 1499 33rd Street NW in Winter Haven after a co-worker called in a report that the victims were not responding inside their residence. The co-worker had stopped to check on the their well-being following the storm. Two deceased males were found inside the residence, and a third female victim was taken to Winter Haven Hospital for treatment. A generator was found in the "on" position (having run out of fuel) in the garage area of the residence. The investigation is continuing and the cause of death is pending an autopsy/ruling by the Medical Examiner. The names of the deceased victims are: 50-year-old Robert Banks and 33-year-old Michael Thompson. The female taken to the hospital for treatmentis 43-year-old Mala Persaud.
 
* South County Jail in Frostproof experienced a power outage last night (Saturday, Aug. 14) that lasted approximately one hour. The SCJ facility has been running on a generator since the night of the storm, but the
generator failed shortly before midnight last night, leaving the facility in darkness. During the approximate hour-long power outage, inmates became involved in altercations with each other. Three inmates reported being injured: two had minor injuries that were checked out by jail medical staff, and a third suffered numerous bruises and was taken to Sebring Hospital to insure he had no other serious injuries. One interior window leading to an inmate classroom was damaged, and a few small fires of sheets and clothing were set (fires burned themselves out and did not spread). Once power returned, an aerial and ground check of the facility was completed to ensure there had been no breach of security at the facility. Additionally, an inmate head count was conducted and all inmates were accounted for and in their appropriate cells.

* The death of a Haines City man - Anthony Turk, DOB 12/15/38, of 3317 Maple Lane in Haines City - who was found deceased in his van parked outside his home following the storm has been determined to be the result of a pre-existing heart condition. The Polk Medical Examiner has determined the man died as a result of his pre-existing heart condition, and has determined the death to be storm-related given the victim's medical problems were compounded by the stress of the storm. His body was found in his van around 8 a.m. Saturday morning.

* The death of a Dundee area man - Jerry Allen Kane, DOB 1/4/43, of 1300 Poe Road - who was found deceased in his vehicle parked outside his residence following the storm has been determined to be the result of pre-existing heart and medical conditions. The Polk Medical Examiner has determined the man died as the result of his pre-existing heart and medical conditions, and has determined the death to be storm-related given the victim's medical problems were compounded by the stress of the storm. His body was found around 1 a.m.
early Saturday morning by his wife when she went to check on him after he went to the sit in the vehicle for the air conditioning.
 

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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