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News and Investigations

News & Investigations

News Releases and Public Information

Welcome to the Polk County Sheriff's Office News Room, where the Public Information Officers (PIO's) post all of the information that they release to the news media. PIO's act as liaisons between news media organizations and the Sheriff's Office. The PIO's routinely release timely and accurate information and Crime Stoppers bulletins, and respond to routine and "breaking news" media inquiries. News releases and Crime Stoppers information can be found on this page.

PCSO's full-time Public Information Officers are Brian Bruchey, Carrie Horstman, and Alicia Manautou. The Public Information Officers can be reached by sending an e-mail collectively at

The recent news releases sent out by the PIOs can be found here, and archived releases (older than 2017) can be found here.

Dec 24, 2021

Lakeland man arrested by Polk deputies for his fifth DUI

Media Contact: Brian Bruchey, PIO

A tip from a witness Thursday night, December 23, 2021, helped Polk County deputies locate and stop a man who was driving recklessly, and it was subsequently determined that he was driving while impaired.

The arrest of 64-year old John Scott of Lakeland was his fifth arrest for DUI.

“Most people get it…they know that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a bad thing. But this guy clearly doesn’t get it. The witness who called to report the reckless driver, then helped deputies locate him may have saved some lives tonight.” Grady Judd, Sheriff

A witness had called Lakeland Police Department at around 9:30 PM to alert them of the reckless driver, and the call was transferred to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office due to the location of where the vehicle was driving.

The witness continued to update dispatchers, who relayed the information to the deputies.

A few minutes later, a deputy located the white Chevy van driving with its high-beam lights on and failing to stay in its lane, and a traffic stop was conducted.

In the arrest affidavit, the deputy reported of Scott, “his speech to be slurred, his eyes to be blood-shot and glassy, and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath and person.”

The deputy also reported that he had to grab Scott three times as he would start to fall backwards.

Scott was so unsteady on his feet that he was unable to perform two of the three parts of the Field Sobriety Test.

Scott told the deputy that he left work at about 5:30 PM and went to a friend’s house to drink, where he “only had six beers.” Restrictions on Scott’s driver’s license only allow for him to drive to and from work only.

Scott was arrested at that point for DUI, and transported to the Sheriff’s Processing Center.

At the SPC, Scott became belligerent with the deputy, and refused to provide a breath sample. He told the deputy, “I’m not doing a thing you say,” and called the deputy a racially derogatory word. 

John Scott was charged with DUI: 4th or Subsequent Offense (F3), Refusal to Submit to DUI BAL Test (M1), and Violation of DL Restrictions (M2). 

Scott’s four prior DUI arrests in Polk County occurred in 1976, 1978, 1981, and 2000.