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On June 18, 2023, Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested 33-year-old Don Wayne Wise, Jr. of Winter Haven for three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm (F3) and one count of resisting arrest (M1) after he pointed a handgun at another motorist. Wise is a football coach at Lake Wales High School.
At around 3:30 p.m., detectives responded to the area of Cypress Gardens Blvd. and Overlook Drive in response to the incident.
Please see the following excerpt from the affidavit:
Contact was made with victims, REDACTED, who stated that they were travelling eastbound on Cypress Gardens Blvd in the area of Overlook Drive when a blue Nissan Rogue bearing FL tag JUZU05 merged into their lane twice with in a close proximity. Upon stopping in the right lane at the right light at Cypress Gardens Blvd and Overlook Drive. The suspect vehicle pulled into the left lane. The passenger side window of the vehicle was down and REDACTED stated, "You pulled into my lane twice". REDACTED both observed a light skin black male point a black or dark colored semi-automatic handgun at them. The firearm similar to the ones carried by the Polk County Sheriff's Office. They advised that the suspect pointed the firearm at them for a full 30 seconds. The actions of the suspect placed the victim's in fear that they were going to be shot.
A check of the vehicles tag number JUZU05 revealed it was a blue 2016 Nissan Rogue registered to Don Wayne Wise Jr. A light skin black male similar to the description provided by the victims.
At approximately 1601 hours I responded to the address listed for Don Wise Jr of 111 Maclandon Ct, Winter Haven, FL 33884. Upon knocking on the front door Wise answered. He was visibly upset and stood just inside the door. He demanded to know why we were present at his home. He was advised that we were at his residence due to a complaint that someone operating his vehicle pointed a firearm a two subjects. Wise denied being in a "road rage" incident or pointing a firearm at anyone. He did advise that he "at some point" was on Cypress Gardens Blvd today and always carries a firearm. At this time he crossed his arms over his chest and his shirt lifted up. I was able to observe a black semi-automatic handgun in a holster carried in the waistband appendix position. Wise refused to answer any further questions and I left his residence.
A photo lineup was created and administered…The lineup was shown to REDACTED. Both victims identified #5 as the suspect REDACTED.
Based upon my investigation I had probable cause to believe that the suspect did knowingly and intentionally threaten the victims by pointing a firearm at them this placed them in a well-founded fear that violence was imminent and they were going to be shot. This was done in violation of FSS 784.021(1)(A)-Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.
Upon his arrest, he repeatedly refused the deputies’ commands to sit inside the patrol car, and physically resisted their efforts to place him inside, resulting in an additional charge of resisting arrest. Wise was transported to the Polk County Jail where he was later released after paying a $15,500 bond.
“Coaches are supposed to be mentors and models for appropriate conduct. Losing your cool while driving and then brandishing a firearm is the complete opposite. I’m proud of my detectives for their quick work to apprehend the man responsible.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff