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Polk County Sheriff’s Office Releases Details Regarding Man Who Climbed Railroad Crossing Lights

PCSO Press Release

In response to your inquiries, here is the probable cause affidavit for the man who climbed up and onto the railroad crossing over the northbound lanes of Combee Road in Lakeland, causing CSX operations and Combee Road to be shut down for approximately 10 hours today.

His name is Tieshawn Edwards, DOB 8/7/1995, and I do not yet have a mugshot for him (he has been taken to a local hospital for a medical evaluation and has not yet been booked into the Polk County Jail – he did not appear to have physical injuries, but he did consume illegal narcotics and made suicidal statements in the presences of deputies and first responders).

Special thanks to Polk Fire Rescue, Peace River Center, Lakeland Fire, and Hillsborough County Fire.

The suspect is identified as Tieshawn L. Edwards.

On 10/01/2023 at approximately 0439 hours, deputies were dispatched to the area of S. Combee Road and Hwy 92 (Lakeland, Florida) in reference a suspicious person. Upon arrival to the scene, deputies observed a male standing on the platform of the railroad crossing mast. Due to recent interactions with the subject, he was identified as Tieshawn L. Edwards.

Deputies made attempts to convince Tieshawn to climb off the crossing mast to which he refused. During the course of the investigation, Tieshawn refused to comply with lawful order to climb off the crossing mast to which he refused. By refusing countless lawful orders, Tieshawn resisted arrest without violence. While Tieshawn refused to comply with lawful orders, he began littering and tampering with evidence by throwing a plastic baggie onto the roadway. What initially appeared to be simple trash was determined to be a plastic ziplock baggie contacting a white in color residue. Based on my training and experience, the white color residue appeared to be methamphetamine. Utilizing a Q-tip, I swabbed the inside of the baggie and inserted the Q-tip into a #15 Narc test kit. The test kit indicated positive results for Methamphetamine. Also during this time, Tieshawn was exposing his penis in public in a vulgar manner and was witnessed by Polk County Fire Rescue.

During the course of the investigation, Tieshawn interfered with railroad signals and interfered with railroad track and other equipment. While Tieshawn was on the crossing mast, he removed a bolt from the stabilizer arm which would require repair. He also damaged wires for the flashing signals on the crossing arms. As a result, at least 4 trains were extremely delayed and disrupted normal operations on the track and normal operations of roadways in the area. Tieshawn was criminal charged for these offenses and issued citation #AI5ZZOE for obstruction of public streets.

Supervision requested the Polk County Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. team respond to the scene to attempt and remove Tieshawn from the crossing mast as safely as possible and take him into custody. It should be noted that the crossing mast has an approximate height clearance of 30 feet. With the assistance of fire rescue trucks equipped with bucket ladders, four S.W.A.T. team members were lifted in the bucket ladder to physically secure Tieshawn. These dangerous measures performed by the S.W.A.T. members exposed them to personal injury. Once the S.W.A.T. member were able to physically detain Tieshawn he began resisting with physical violence and furthermore exposing the S.W.A.T. members to personal injury.

At approximately 1400 hours, member of S.W.A.T. team were able to safely secure Tieshawn and remove him from the crossing mast. Tieshawn was taken into custody and criminally charged with the following offenses:

-Interference with Railroad Signals (F/3) (2 counts)

-Interference with railroad track and other equipment (F/3)

-Tampering with Evidence (F/3)

-Resisting with Violence (F/3)

-Possession of Methamphetamine (F/3)

-Exposure of sexual organs (M/1)

-Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (M/1)

-Culpable Negligence (M/2) (4 counts)

-Resisting with Violence (M/1)

author avatar
Carl Fish

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