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Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Charged With Child Abuse

Lakeland, Florida- The Lakeland Police Department has arrested a Polk County Sheriff’s Office Deputy. The arrest came from allegations and charges being filed for Knowingly Abuse Child Without Bodily Injury.

On May 18th LPD arrested deputy Austin Moates. The following is an excerpt from the Lakeland Police affidavit (It should be noted that this is an unedited, but redacted, report of facts by the Lakeland Police Department. These facts are up for question and everyone is entitled to question the validity of facts by law enforcement in a court of law. The Daily Ridge does not rewrite these facts as some meanings or interpretations could be in error and change context. We hope readers appreciate being able to read the information and come to their own understanding and conclusions) :

The following is a summary of the interview, refer to the audio/video recording for further details from the victim:


“REDACTED stated that she got in trouble with REDACTED at school for “shoving” another student at school, so Austin came to pick them up. She further stated that she no longer lives with Austin and his children because “REDACTED choked me… on the neck.” She further stated that when they got home from school “he picked me up by the neck and he squeezed it where I cant…” When asked for more information of what happened between her and Austin that day, she stated that Austin made them sit on the couch and then he called REDACTED to him. REDACTED advised that REDACTED told the truth and then he was allowed to eat an apple. She stated that Austin then called her into the kitchen, and she told him that she “shoved a little girl” but she could not remember the rest. REDACTED then stated that Austin spanked/hit her with a thing that you flip ham over with (spatula) 5 times. She stated that Austin then called her mother and after their conversation he spanked/hit her again with a belt 3 times. REDACTED was then told she had to go her room to calm down because she was upset. She stated that Austin put her in her room by “carrying me by the neck.” When asked if she could breathe, she immediately stated, “No. He almost choked me and made me die.” then stated that when they got
upstairs to her room, Austin spanked her again with a belt and a shoe.”
During the interview, REDACTED asked REDACTED what happened to her neck, and she stated “I have bruises from his hands.”

Deputy Moates maintained he only spanked the child. He was arrested on 5/18 and released on $1000 bond on 5/19.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office did not have a comment over the weekend and the public information officer advised they will have to check on his employment with human resources Monday.

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