August 27, 2004
Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Michal Shanley, (863) 534-6631 OR (863) 819-0397 Pager
Polk County Sheriff's Office Conducts Death Investigation
Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives are
conducting a death investigation following the
death last night of a 32-year-old Auburndale man.
Shortly before 10 p.m. last night (Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004), PCSO Deputy
Jennifer Sanderson responded to a report of a man walking in the roadway
of US 92, east of the intersection of Old Dixie Highway in the
Auburndale area. According to multiple callers who reported the
incident, the man appeared to be under the influence (of drugs or
alcohol) and was creating a traffic hazard. Upon arrival on the scene,
Deputy Sanderson located the suspect - later identified as Jason Yeagley,
DOB 7/26/72, of 1320 Ashley Court in Auburndale - in the west-bound
lanes of US 92. Fearing for his safety and the safety of motorists,
Deputy Sanderson attempted to guide the man off the roadway.
The suspect, who was acting in a bizarre manner, refused to comply with
Deputy Sanderson and physically attacked her as she was attempting to
safely remove him from harm's way. The suspect's bizarre behavior
escalated into a violent struggle with Deputy Sanderson, during which
the suspect struck the deputy at least once, and also grabbed and threw
away a pair handcuffs as Deputy Sanderson attempted to handcuff him. As
the struggle continued and the suspect became more violent and
aggressive, Deputy Sanderson deployed her Taser (less-than-lethal)
weapon in an attempt to safely subdue the suspect. The Taser shock
appeared to have little apparent effect, and the struggle continued.
Deputy Sanderson deployed her Taser a second time as the suspect
continued to attack the deputy.
Just as back-up deputies arrived, Deputy Sanderson had managed to
handcuff (with a second set of handcuffs) the suspect's hands in front
of him. A few short moments later, deputies noted the suspect appeared
to be going into some type of medical distress. Deputy Sanderson already
had called for an ambulance at some point during the struggle, and the
ambulance arrived shortly thereafter and the suspect was transported to
Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where he was declared dead. An
autopsy (scheduled for today) will determine the cause of death.