WINTER HAVEN — Eight people were arrested for violating curfew, following the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The curfew was imposed from midnight to 5 a.m. Tuesday by Polk Emergency Management and the Sheriff’s Office. In a release, Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said the curfew is enforced not only to keep residents safe, but to prevent looting as well.
Deputies arrested Johnny Charles Hart, 39; Louinel Joseph, 27; Yorge Ortiz, 26; Jose Pagan, 34; James Anderson, 46, all of Winter Haven and Adam Brady, 39, and Austin Wilsman, 15, of Lakeland. Ivan Dupont, 35, of Winter Haven was arrested by the Winter Haven Police Department for possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a church, possession of drug paraphernalia in addition to violating curfew.
Hart was arrested after being seen riding his bicycle on Cypress Gardens Boulevard before 12:45 a.m. Hart told deputies he was out on bail for burglarizing an occupied structure.
Joseph was also charged with resisting arrest after trying to pull away from deputies after being seen walking in Inwood at 1:40 a.m. He told deputies he was out for a walk. He lacked proper identification, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Ortiz was driving when he was pulled over for running a red light on State Road 540 near Spirit Lake Road at about 1:25 a.m., deputies said. Pagan was a passenger in his vehicle.
Anderson was seen shining his flashlight into residential yards while riding a bicycle on Avenue M in Winter Haven about 2:30 a.m. Anderson told the Sheriff’s Office that he was looking for his girlfriend, but deputies located a flathead screwdriver, wrenches and a window punch on him. He was also charged with possession of burglary tools.
Brady was also charged with possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and possession of alcohol in public after being apprehended while riding his bicycle on Combee Road in Lakeland about 1:30 a.m. Deputies found a flask of alcohol and a syringe on Brady.
Wilsman was riding his bicycle on North Church Avenue about 2:45 a.m. Wilsman, who told deputies he was looking for a ride to a friend’s house at Imperial Lakes Community, acknowledged that he was on probation for burglary and aggravated battery.
The curfew will remain in effect until repealed by the county. Violating the curfew is a second-degree misdemeanor and can result in a $500 fine per violation.