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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Attempted Murder Suspect Arrested After Brief Chase & Manhunt In Haines City

HAINES CITY. FL- A Winter Haven man with a warrant for attempted murder was arrested in the early hours Of Friday morning following a vehicle pursut and a brief manhunt.

Lemuel Johnson Jr., 36, is being charged by the Haines City Police Department with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing to elude and driving with a suspended or revoked license. He is also charged with burglary of a structure, resisting arrest without violence and false imprisonment by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Johnson was driving a 2017 Ford Escape after 11 p.m. on Thursday when he was pulled over in the area of U.S. 27 and Bates Road. As Officer Haley McDonald made her way to the vehicle and requested Johnson roll down the window, he accelerated toward her, forcing her to jump out of the way to avoid being seriously harmed.
Johnson continued east on Bates Road and was pursued by officers from Haines City and the Davenport Police Department. After being located in the area of Uncle Tony Road and Kalogridis Road, Johnson left his vehicle and ran. A Haines City K-9 was deployed along with Air and Drone Units from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

After a perimeter was set up a nearby resident called to report a “suspicious person” in a trailer on the resident’s property. Johnson was located by the Haines City K-9 and Sheriff‘s Office Air Unit hiding in the trailer. He initially refused to come out. but ultimately surendered. was arrested and later taken to the Polk County Jail.

He initially refused to come out, but ultimately surrendered, was arrested and later taken to the Polk County Jail. The Lake Wales Police Department had an outstanding warrant for Johnson’s arrest for first-degree attempted homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Throughout the pursuit, there was a passenger in Johnson’s vehicle. He was cooperative with the investigation and told law enforcement that he was fearful and pleaded with Johnson to let him out of the vehicle during the pursuit.

“As a result of outstanding police work and collaboration, a very dangerous person is off the streets,” Chief Jim Elensky said. “A suspect wanted for trying to take someone’s life put police officers, his passenger and everyone on the road in danger with these reckless actions. We’re grateful that no one was hurt and appreciate the hard work of everyone involved to put him behind bars.”

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Carl Fish

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