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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.

Apr 27, 2022

Polk City man arrested for DUI

Media Contact: Alicia Manautou, PIO

On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, the Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested 30-year-oldBrandon Hayes Brandon Hayes of Polk City for DUI.

At around 2:00 a.m., deputies observed a white 2009 Ford Fusion, driven by Hayes, traveling 67 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour zone on U.S 98 North near the I4 eastbound ramp in Lakeland. Deputies then conducted a traffic stop. 

According to the affidavit, when deputies spoke with Hayes, they smelled “the obvious impurities of an alcoholic beverage on his breath” and observed him to have “watery eyes.” Deputies also noticed an Ohio license plate on the vehicle with a 2016 registration sticker. When asked, Hayes told deputies that the vehicle had not been registered for about 10 years and had never been registered in Florida.

Hayes told deputies he had just left a bar where he had been drinking. He also said he knew he should not be driving and would not pass a field sobriety test. Deputies conducted a field sobriety test, which Hayes failed. 

Hayes told deputies he is a correctional officer at Polk Correctional Institution and is a Military Police Officer in the Army Reserves.

"I’m thankful my deputies got this drunk driver off the road before he hurt or killed someone. There is never an excuse to drink and drive. If you’ve been drinking, please don’t drive. Plan for a designated driver, call a friend or loved one, or take advantage of the many ride share opportunities available." - Grady Judd, Sheriff

Hayes was arrested for DUI (M2) and Misuse of Tag to Avoid Registration (M1). He was transported to the Polk County Jail and released after paying a $750.00 bond.