LAKELAND — A posting on a popular social media site enabled law enforcement to catch a suspect wanted on theft charges, but when Polk County deputies confronted the man, he tried to run them over.
Joshua Adams, 26, of Mulberry was taken into custody on Thursday, and is now in the Polk County Jail, where he’s facing a long list of charges, including attempted murder on a law enforcement officer.
And it was a tip provided to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office that helped find him — a tip from someone who saw Adams’ photo on the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page.
The tip came in around 10:28 p.m. on Thursday, letting deputies know that Adams — who was wanted for the theft of lawn equipment — was at Brewland’s Bar and Billards on South Florida Avenue in Lakeland.
“The tipster had seen Adams’ photo posted on the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page with details of his crimes,” noted Donna C. Wood, the public information officer for the sheriff’s office, in her report on the case.
Deputies went to the bar, and immediately found Adams inside a white pickup truck, trying to leave the parking lot.
“A responding deputy parked his patrol car at the entrance of the parking lot and stepped out of his vehicle to confront Adams,” Wood noted. “Dressed in his agency uniform, the deputy identified himself as a member of the Sheriff’s Office and directed Adams to show his hands.”
Adams did stop the truck, Wood noted — but then apparently he decided he wasn’t going down without a fight, she added, because “then quickly accelerated toward the deputy.”
Fortunately, “The deputy was able to jump out of the way of Adams’ truck, avoiding being struck,” Wood noted.
Adams fled the scene, followed by deputies, and was stopped on South Florida Avenue and taken into custody.
While conducting a search of Adams’ truck, deputies found what Wood noted was “a clear plastic bag” containing a white substance later identified as meth.
Adams is now facing some felony charges, including attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, possession of Methamphetamine with intent to sell, aggravated fleeing to elude, driving a vehicle while his license has been suspended or revoked, resisting arrest with violence, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, grand theft, grand theft of a motor vehicle, conveyance burglary, possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a park, possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.
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