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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Eleazer, Carrie

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 6/17/2015 

   PCSO Undercover Detectives Arrest Six Men at Gator Creek Preserve Park   


On June 16, 2015, Polk County Sheriff's undercover detectives conducted a Vice initiative at Gator Creek Preserve Park in Lakeland, focusing on complaints about indecent activity at the park. Six men were arrested for soliciting lewd acts:

RECORD SEALED/EXPUNGED

69-year-old Thomas Reynolds of 38696 Fern Circle in Zephyrhills, exposed himself to and committed a lewd act in front of an undercover detective at Gator Creek Preserve. He told detectives he is retired. He threw away lubricant in the bathroom trash can prior to being arrested. He was arrested and charged with Soliciting Lewdness, and Tampering with Evidence. He was booked into the Polk County Jail. 

68-year-old Earl Matthews of 1234 Reynolds Rd Lot 302 in Lakeland, exposed himself to an undercover detective at Gator Creek Preserve. He told detectives he is disabled. He was arrested and charged with Indecent Exposure. He was booked into the Polk County Jail and was released after posting $500 bond. 

54-year-old Gordon Puckett of 2965 New Tampa Highway in Lakeland, solicited an undercover detective to perform a lewd act at Gator Creek Preserve. He told detectives he is disabled and receives $884 per month in disability. He was arrested and charged with Soliciting Lewdness. He was booked into the Polk County Jail. 

74-year-old Joseph Knobel of 7517 Jessamine Drive in Lakeland, solicited an undercover detective to perform a lewd act and grabbed the undercover detective at Gator Creek Preserve. He told detectives he is retired. He was arrested and charged with Soliciting Lewdness and Battery. He was booked into the Polk County Jail. 

50-year-old Hugh Barclay III of 3426 Hancock Bridge Pkwy 302 in Fort Myers, solicited an undercover detective to perform a lewd act at Gator Creek Preserve. He told detectives he is a construction manager. He was arrested and charged with Soliciting Lewdness. He was booked into the Polk County Jail. 

All six suspects were issued trespass warnings for all parks in Polk County.

"We keep sending out the message to those who use our family friendly parks to commit lewd acts - we aren't going to tolerate it. We will continue to monitor our county parks and recreational facilities to ensure the safety of our citizens, and for those who don't get the message, we are happy to give you a free ride to the county jail." - Sheriff Grady Judd