It should be noted that this is an unedited report of facts by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. These facts are up for question and everyone is entitled to question the validity of facts by law enforcement in a court of law. Winter Haven Daily 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 your own conclusion.
On 07/17/2022 at approximately 1330 bours, I was assigned to Marine patrol on Lake Winterset, in Winter Haven.
I was made aware of a vessel anchored in the lake with two divers in the water and the vessel was not
displaying a diver down flag. I observed the vessel, a 15-foot open motorboat displaying Florida vessel
registration #FL8547TD, to be anchored approximately 50 feet offshore closest to the address of 6755 Winterset Gardens Rd. Winter Haven. I observed two subjects in the water, actively snorkeling with masks and fins. There was no diver down flag attached to the vessel or in the water, in violation of F.S.327.331.
I made contact with the two divers and requested they return to their vessel to speak with me, which they did.
Once onboard their vessel I determined one of the divers was a juvenile and the other was his adult father. I began speaking with the adult (suspect) who stated he was the owner of the vessel regarding the diver down flag. After explaining the requirements of the diver down flag to the suspect, he told me I was wrong and he did not need a flag. I reiterated to the suspect that he indeed needed a flag and asked him for his identification. The suspect refused and told me he was not going to identify himself. I told the suspect he was lawfully stopped and I was conducting a vessel safety inspection and again ordered him to give me his identification. He again refused.
I told the suspect multiple times that if he continued to refuse to identify himself, I would place him under arrest.
The suspect again refused and moved to the back of his vessel grabbed the motor, and appeared to attempt to start the engine in an effort to flee. I provided several Taser warnings to the suspect and ordered him to stop. I advised the suspect he was under arrest and to get onto my vessel. Eventually, the suspect boarded my vessel and I placed him in handcuffs. I advised the suspect he was under arrest for resisting without violence.
I then began attempting to place a personal floatation device (PFD) on the suspect. The suspect screamed that he was going to jump off my boat, stood up, and attempted to jump off the boat. I maintained control of the suspect and directed him to the deck of my boat. At this time I observed a large dagger style knife in the suspect’s waistband and I disarmed him. I was then able to safely place a PFD on the suspect and transport him to shore.
Once onshore, the suspect continued to identify himself and was transported to the Canal Commission boat ramp for processing.
It should be noted during this investigation, I was operating a PCSO insignia marked patrol vessel and wearing my agency issued uniform with Deputy Sherill badge clearly displayed.
While speaking with the suspect, I noticed he had bloodshot watery eyes with pinpoint pupils. I could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the suspect’s breath and he was unsteady on his feet. The suspect’s speech was slow and slurred.
I read the suspect his Miranda Warning and he stated he understood.
Because the suspect was in actual physical control of the vessel as he attempted to start it and leave, I began BUl investigation while on-shore at the Canal Commission.
I attempted to conduct the following Field Sobriety test (SFST’s) with the following results:
1.Horizonto Gaze and Nystagmus – Refused
2.Walk and Turn – Refused
3. One Leg Stand – Refused
Based on my observations. I determined the suspect was operating a vessel within Polk County, Florida and
based on my training and experience was determined to be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol to the point where his normal faculties were impaired. I advised the suspect he was also being charged with BUl.
Eventually, the suspect Identilied himself to me as Jonathan Arthur (Suspect) and I positively identified him via DAVID.
The suspect was transported to the jail.
I began a 20-minute observation period at 1549 hours.
At the conclusion of the 20-minute observation period, I requested the suspect provide two breath samples to determine his breath alcohol level. The suspect refused and I read him Implied Consent. The suspect again refused. A criminal history check revealed the suspect does not have a prior conviction for refusal.
I issued the suspect the following Florida Uniform Boating Citations:
V718404 – No Diver Down Symbol Displayed
V718402 – Operating a Vessel While Impaired
V718403 – BUI Refusal to Give Breath Sample 1st Offense