A Lakeland Man’s Ill-Fated Efforts to Evade the Police and the Disadvantages of Trying to Run/Hide from Law Enforcement

Occasionally, this blog takes the opportunity to highlight potentially criminal situations where individuals demonstrated “what not to do.” For example, if you’re facing charges or under suspicion, running from the police is an example of what not to do. What you should do instead is get online or grab a phone and get in touch with a knowledgeable Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

This blog also sometimes highlights people who have engaged in distinctly “Florida man/Florida woman” behavior. This blog post involves both. That is, a Florida man and someone illustrating “what not to do” when facing a particular predicament.

Per a Fox 13 Tampa Bay news report, that man was J.Y. from Lakeland, whom Polk County Sheriff’s deputies were seeking concerning possible crimes of aggravated battery, false imprisonment, and tampering. After receiving a tip, deputies traveled to a residence on West 10th Street. At the front of the house, propped in front of a window, was a white dry-erase board bearing a message declaring that J.Y. “does NOT live here!!”

Even with double exclamation points and excellent handwriting, the clever ruse did not dupe the deputies. They waited outside until someone exiting the residence told them J.Y. was inside. The deputies broke out a loudspeaker and commanded the man to come out. They did this for an hour to no avail.

Next, they tried to smoke out the suspect… literally. The deputies’ deployment of “surrender smoke” yielded four people, but none were J.Y.

Eventually, the deputies brought in their closer, Dexter the K-9 officer. Dexter entered the home and found J.Y. hiding in “a modified chest of drawers.” The (human) officers then arrested the man.

How Fleeing or Hiding Works Against You

While there’s a degree of unavoidable mirth regarding this arrest — especially for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office employee who writes their Facebook content — there are also some serious truths worth highlighting. One of the biggest is that running and/or hiding from the police is very rarely a good idea.

For one thing, law enforcement officers are almost certain to catch you eventually. Once they do, your efforts at evading them are likely going to work against you. The police are more likely to use greater physical force in dealing with you, and you’re also more likely to receive less favorable treatment when you come before a judge. The judge may be less likely to ROR you (release you on your own recognizance) or more likely to demand a high bond.

A better plan is to resist the urge to flee or hide and, instead, retain legal counsel as swiftly as possible. A skilled legal advocate can begin advocating for you as soon as they are retained and, whether they are interacting with the State Attorney’s Office or the court, their ability to achieve a favorable result for you will always be enhanced if they can argue that you have been cooperative… and have never had to be removed from a “modified” piece of furniture by deputies with help from a K-9 officer.

Many critical factors influence the outcome of a bond hearing, a pretrial motion, or a trial. One of those is having skilled counsel advocating for you. If you’ve been arrested, the knowledgeable Tampa Bay criminal defense attorneys at Blake & Dorsten P.A. are here to help. Whether it is pursuing a lower bond or ROR, if you have questions, contact us to get the answers you need. To find out more, call us today at (727) 286-6141 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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