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Convicted Sex Offender Goes On Crime Rampage Ramming Multiple Vehicles With A Truck & Assaulting People With A Gun In Lakeland

Lakeland, Florida – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a convicted sex offender and charged him with multiple crimes. Deputies arrested Joseph Kern with DUI, Fleeing To Elude, multiple counts of Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon, multiple counts of Leaving The Scene Of A Crash and more.

Below is a redacted large excerpt of the arrest affidavit.

On 06/11/2021, I responded to Heritage Concrete LLC. located at 2412 Main Street East, Lakeland, Florida 33801 in reference to assisting Polk County Sheriff’s Office Southwest Deputies with a felony investigation.

Upon arrival, I made contact with the victim, VICTIM 1, outside of the business. A recorded interview was conducted, which provided the following account.

VICTIM 1 advised he was inside of the business office of the Heritage Concrete LLC., when he heard a subject yelling outside of the business. VICTIM 1 advised he walked outside of the business and observed a subject he knows as “Crazy Joe,” later identified as the suspect, Joseph Kern, sitting inside of a red 2002 Chevrolet Silverado bearing Alabama tag# 34CH884 and pulling a trailer bearing Florida tag #QILR82. VICTIM 1 advised he observed Joseph screaming in his vehicle unknown phrases which did not make any sense. VICTIM 1 walked to the driver’s side of the vehicle with the intent to check on Joseph. While walking towards the driver’s door, Joseph simultaneously exited the driver’s seat holding a golf club in his right hand and a firearm in his left hand. VICTIM 1 stated he turned away from Joseph due to him raising the club. Joseph then began to strike VICTIM 1 3-4 times on the back with the golf club. VICTIM 1 looked back to Joseph why he was striking him, at which time, VICTIM 1 observed Joseph pointing the firearm directly at him. VICTIM 1 advised Joseph was yelling, but could not understand what he was saying. VICTIM 1 was able to stand up and run towards the back of the business property to contact law enforcement. While contacting law enforcement, VICTIM 1 advised Joseph reentered the vehicle and fled the area eastbound on Main Street East towards Combee Road South.

VICTIM 1 advised the act of striking him with the golf club was done intentionally and against his will. VICTIM 1 advised the act of Joseph pointing the firearm at him was done intentionally and placed him in fear of great bodily harm or death.

VICTIM 1 sustained bruising to his left and right shoulders and an abrasion to the left center of his back. VICTIM 1 refused medical treatment. I obtained photographs of his injuries.

While being dispatched to the area of this incident, D/S Owusu #6126 observed Joseph’s vehicle parked at the gas pumps of the Marathon Gas Station located at 107 Combee Road South. D/S Owusu parked his agency issued marked patrol vehicle in front of Joseph’s vehicle and activated his emergency red and blue lights. D/S Owusu ordered Joseph to exit the vehicle and walk towards him. Joseph originally complied by exiting the vehicle and started walking towards D/S Owusu. Joseph then began stating he did not do anything wrong, and ran back towards his vehicle. Joseph reentered his vehicle and fled from D/S Owusu heading southbound on Combee Road South. D/S Owusu advised he followed for a brief period of time in the parking lot of the Marathon, but did not pursue Joseph onto Combee Road South.

During this incident, D/S Owusu was wearing his agency-issued green Class-B uniform with silver sheriff star and insignias. D/S Owusu was clearly identifiable as a Polk County Sheriff’s Office Deputy during the daylight.

I made contact with a victim, VICTIM 2, at the 5/3 Bank located at 435 Combee Road South. A recorded interview was conducted, which provided the following account.

VICTIM 2 advised she was traveling South on Combee Road South in her 2007 green Volkswagen Passat bearing Florida tag #REDACTEDVICTIM 2 stated after traveling through the intersection with Main Street East, she observed a red truck traveling next to her vehicle on the shoulder. VICTIM 2 advised when she looked at the truck, she observed a white male, identified as Joseph Kern, driving the truck and staring back at her. VICTIM 2 advised the male driver then intentionally rammed into her vehicle to enter the roadway southbound on Combee Road South. VICTIM 2 advised after being rammed, the suspect truck continued South on Combee Road South.

VICTIM 2 advised the act of being rammed was done intentionally and against her will. VICTIM 2 stated she did not sustain any injuries as a result of this incident.

I made contact with a victim, VICTIM 3, at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Southwest Substation. A recorded interview was conducted, which provided the following account.

VICTIM 3 advised he began driving his 2019 red Ford F350 bearing Florida tag #REDACTED South on Combee Road South after entering the roadway from a business on Combee Road South. VICTIM 3 advised he observed the red truck traveling South, but stated there was enough time for him to enter the roadway. VICTIM 3 advised he observed the red truck quickly approach his vehicle from behind. The red truck then began passing VICTIM 3‘s vehicle on the shoulder of Combee Road South. The red truck then intentionally rammed into VICTIM 3 ‘s vehicle, striking the passenger doors and the front passenger side tire. The red truck then fled South on Combee Road South.

VICTIM 3 advised the act of being rammed was done intentionally and against her will. VICTIM 3 advised he did not sustain any injuries as a result of this incident.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a 9-1-1 call from a victim, VICTIM 4, who resides at REDACTED in reference to an occupied burglary involved Joseph Kern. I responded to RECACTED and made contact with VICTIM 4. A recorded interview was conducted, which provided the following account.

VICTIM 4 advised he was asleep in his bedroom, when a known suspect, Joseph Kern, entered his room in a reckless manner. VICTIM 4 advised he knows Joseph from multiple encounters and has instructed Joseph to not return to his residence. VICTIM 4 stated a physical altercation occurred when he ordered Joseph to leave and continued to stay inside of the residence. VICTIM 4 struck Joseph in the face with a closed fist on the face. Joseph entered a dazed state as a result of being struck in the face. VICTIM 4 grabbed Joseph and escorted him out of the residence through the front door. VICTIM 4 stated Joseph never struck him. After escorting Joseph out of the residence, VICTIM 4 observed a screen covering to an exterior window was removed which was not previously removed. VICTIM 4 advised this was the entry location for Joseph because all other doors and windows were secured.

VICTIM 4 advised he did not give permission for Joseph to remove his screen from the and did not give Joseph permission to enter his residence.

D/S Covey #7741 located Joseph on Idaho Avenue near the intersection of Main Street East after being escorted out of VICTIM 4 ‘ residence. Joseph was placed into custody. During a search of Joseph’s person, a teal Ruger LCP bearing serial #372121764 was located in his front left pocket. A magazine with one .380 round was also located in the front left pocket outside of the firearm.

While fleeing from law enforcement, Joseph struck multiple vehicles, eventually coming to rest at 125 Eastside Drive South. D/S Jaimes #8879 secured the vehicle and learned the attached trailer bearing Florida tag #QILR82 belonged to Cable Wiring Specialist Inc., located at 8331 Epicenter Boulevard, Lakeland, Florida 33809. D/S King #9018 responded to the business and learned the trailer was stolen from the open property of the business (see PCSO case number 2021-24376).

I made contact with Polk County Sheriff’s Office CIC operator Rembert #8462 who confirmed Joseph has previous guilty convictions for robbery with a weapon from 08/19/2003, petit theft from 06/13/2006, and battery from 02/11/2021. Joseph is also a registered sex offender.

As a result of my investigation, I determined Joseph Kern committed the following offenses:


Joseph committed 3 counts of the offense of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon when he knowingly and intentionally struck VICTIM 1 3-4 times with a golf club, intentionally rammed VICTIM 2 ‘s vehicle to evade law enforcement, and intentionally rammed Robert’s vehicle to evade law enforcement.


Joseph committed the offense of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon when he knowingly and intentionally pointed the teal Ruger LCP at VICTIM 1 causing VICTIM 1  to be in fear of great bodily harm or death.


Joseph committed the offense of improper exhibition of a firearm when he knowingly and intentionally exited his vehicle holding the firearm and waving the firearm around.


Joseph committed the offense of fleeing to elude law enforcement when he knowingly and intentionally fled from D/S Owusu in his vehicle while D/S Owusu had his emergency red and blue lights activated on his agency-issued marked patrol vehicle. I issued criminal citation #


Joseph committed the offense of resisting without violence when he knowingly and intentionally disobeyed D/S Owusu’s commands to walk towards him by running back towards his vehicle.


Joseph committed the offense of armed burglary of a dwelling when he knowingly entered VICTIM 4 ‘ residence without permission while in possession of a firearm.


Joseph committed the offense of petit theft 2nd offense when he knowingly and intentionally removed VICTIM 4 ‘ exterior window screen, which temporarily deprived VICTIM 4 of the window screen.


Joseph committed the offense of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon for being in possession of the teal Ruger LCP while being a convicted felon.


Joseph committed the offense of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon for being in possession of the one .380 round while being a convicted felon.


Joseph committed the offense of being in possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony offense when he committed the above listed offenses while being in possession of the teal Ruger LCP.


Joseph committed the offense of grand theft of a motor vehicle under $100,000 for being in possession of the stolen vehicle trailer bearing Florida tag #QILR82.

Kern was arrested and transported to Polk County Jail. He is still incarcerated as of this article.

Kern was convicted of luring a minor (15 yr Old) to have sex with him when he was 23. Details Here: 23 Yr Old Lakeland Man Arrested After Meeting 15 Yr Old Girl

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