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Polk County Deputies Arrest Crazy Man Who Allegedly Came Out Of Orange Groves At Midnight & Started Chasing Victims

Dundee, Florida – Imagine yout on your Polaris ranger a man comes out of the orange groves and hunkers down in the middle of the road like an animal in front of you. You pass by him and he starts chasing you. Your wife starts screaming at him “what do you want” and he’s growling saying “I want you”. The man allegedly howling with his hands in the air pointing at the sky. He was soaking wet and covered in mud.

This is what happened to a Dundee couple at 1am this morning near the intersection of Scenic Hwy & Welsh Rd. Fortunately the victims called 911. Sheriff’s deputy’s arrive quickly and suspect tried to run but they got him and arrested him. The suspect has been identified as Richard Maness (10/27/1980), possibly of Winter Haven.

Here is an excerpt from the PCSO arrest affidavit (It should be noted that this is an unedited report, victims names have been redacted, of facts by the Polk County Sheriff’s 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 suspect, Richard Maness, violated FSS. 843.02 Resisting without Violence, FSS 810.09(2)(A) Trespass property other than structure, and FSS. 784.011 Two counts of Simple Assault Threat to do Violence on one occasion.

On May 25, 2022, I was on duty in my capacity as a deputy sheriff wearing my agency-issued class B uniform, badge, and duty belt while driving a marked Polk County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle.

Dispatch advised the nature of the call as a suspicious incident where the reportee (later identified asVICTIM1) advised a suspect (later identified as Richard Maness) was currently chasing him and his family as they were on a Polaris Ranger. The reportee was able to provide a suspect description as a white male with dirty shorts who was wet and muddy.

Upon arrival at Scenic Highway/ Welsh Road, Dundee, I arrived at the dispatch location and observed the suspect who matched the description. The suspect was seen walking northbound on the shoulder side of the road. I was in my marked patrol car and we both made eye contact. As I exited my vehicle I gave the suspect lawful orders to come here multiple times. The suspect turn around and we made eye contact again. The suspect refused to follow any direct orders and continued to walk away. The suspect then fled on foot heading northbound into an orange grove.

The suspect fell to the ground and as I was attempting to put handcuffs on the suspect he began to brace, pull away, and refused to comply with my lawful orders. I advise the suspect he was under arrest and was able to secure the suspect in handcuffs. Your affiant read the suspect’s Miranda warnings and post Miranda the suspect admitted to being in the orange grove during this incident. The suspect then stated the reason he was chasing after the victims were because they were chasing after him. The suspect advised when he observed me as a Law Enforcement Officer and ran away from me because he was trying to help people. The suspect violated FSS. 843.02 Resisting without Violence.

I made contact with VICTIM1 and VICTIM2 who advised they were attempting to get away from the suspect due to the suspect chasing after them and yelling at VICTIM2 he wanted her. Due to the suspect’s actions, he placed VICTIM1 and VICTIM2 in well-founded fear fearing for their safety, and believed if the suspect would have caught up to them he would have harmed them. The suspect violated FSS. 784.011 Two counts of Simple Assault Threat to do Violence.

VICTIM1 and VICTIM2 both observed the suspect exit from the orange grove and during my foot pursuit the suspect was attempting to enter the orange grove again. The orange grove has an agency agreement with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and is posted around the orange grove stating “NO TRESPASSING by order of THE SHERIFF” therefore, he violated FSS. 810.09(2)(A) Trespass property other than structure.

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