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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wood, Donna

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 2/12/2012 

 PCSO Investigating Death of Inmate 


Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating the death of a Polk County inmate that occurred today, Sunday, February 12, 2012, at Bartow Regional Medical Center.

At approximately 11:55 am, this morning, 50-year-old Robert Joseph Lorenz, DOB 08/16/1961, 305 Colorado Avenue, Lakeland, was among several inmates in line to receive their lunch.  He was standing on the stairs of the open bay dorm when he began to slump over.  A PCSO detention deputy caught Lorenz as he collapsed.  Jail medical staff responded to the dorm and Lorenz was removed from the dorm and was being transported to the jail infirmary when he became unresponsive.  Life-saving attempts were administered while he was in the infirmary.  Emergency medical personnel were summoned and transported Lorenz to Bartow Regional Medical Center at approximately 12:33 pm.  Lorenz was pronounced dead at the hospital at approximately 12:57 pm.

On December 13, 2011, Lorenz was found trespassing on CSX property.  He was given probation for the Trespassing charge.  On January 18, 2012, Lorenz was charged by affidavit with Petit Theft and his probation officer violated him.  A Polk County warrant was issued and Lorenz was arrested on February 6, 2012.

Lorenz’s Polk County criminal arrest history includes eight prior arrests. 

Lorenz was arrested and booked into jail by:

The PCSO on February 6, 2012, for VOP Trespassing

The PCSO on December 13, 2011, for Trespassing – Property Not Structure or Convenience

The PCSO on February 28, 2011, for Battery (Felony Battery DV Prior Conviction)

The PCSO on February 14, 2011, for Larceny, Petit Theft and Dealing in Stolen Property

The PCSO on July 20, 2010, for Larceny (Removing Shopping Cart)

The PCSO on May 2, 2009, for Battery (Domestic Violence)

The PCSO on September 3, 2008, for Violation of Probation (DUI)

The Lakeland Police Department on May 8, 2008, for Driving While Under the Influence

Lorenz did not report any preexisting medical conditions when he was booked into the jail.

This is an ongoing death investigation. 

It is standard PCSO policy for mandated, independent investigations to be conducted when an inmate dies. The PCSO Administrative Investigations Section is conducting an internal review. The PCSO Bureau of Criminal Investigations is conducting the death investigation. The Polk County Medical Examiner will conduct the autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death. PCSO has notified the State Attorney’s Office about this investigation, and upon its completion PCSO will forward all paperwork to the State Attorney’s Office for their review.