Click Here for ADA Accessible Format

Polk County Sheriff’s Phone# 863-298-6200

If in an emergency Dial 911

Polk County Sheriff Facebook Polk County Sheriff Twitter Polk County Sheriff Instagram Polk County Sheriff Youtube

Hit enter to search or ESC to close

News and Investigations

News & Investigations

News Releases and Public Information

Welcome to the Polk County Sheriff's Office News Room, where the Public Information Officers (PIO's) post all of the information that they release to the news media. PIO's act as liaisons between news media organizations and the Sheriff's Office. The PIO's routinely release timely and accurate information and Crime Stoppers bulletins, and respond to routine and "breaking news" media inquiries. News releases and Crime Stoppers information can be found on this page.

PCSO's full-time Public Information Officers are Brian Bruchey, Carrie Horstman, and Alicia Manautou. The Public Information Officers can be reached by sending an e-mail collectively at

The recent news releases sent out by the PIOs can be found here, and archived releases (older than 2017) can be found here.

Jan 31, 2023

Polk City man arrested for attempted murder

Media Contact: Alicia Manautou, PIO

On January 30, 2023, PCSO detectives arrested 18-year-old Vincent Smith of PolkVincent Smith City for attempted first degree murder (3 counts) and other related charges after he shot a 17-year-old Eagle Lake teen.

According to the investigation and witness statements, around 10:45 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2023, Smith, the victim, and others were hanging out near Surveyors Lake in unincorporated Bartow. The victim noticed a red laser light pointed toward him and told his two friends that they needed to leave because he believed someone may have a gun. 

Smith approached the victim, and the two began to argue about the laser light. Smith then punched the victim in the face, removed a handgun from the waistband of his pants, and pointed it at the victim. 

The victim and his two friends immediately retreated to their vehicle. As they drove away from the area, Smith fired several rounds at the vehicle, and one struck the victim in the back. 

The victim told his friends he had been shot, and they drove him to a local hospital where he is being treated for his injuries. He is expected to make a full-recovery. 
Crime Scene Investigators recovered around 28 spent shell casings from the scene.

“The victims in this shooting tried to leave when the argument became heated, but Smith let his anger turn violent. Now a teenager has been shot, and Smith faces a lengthy prison sentence.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff

Detectives found Smith at a residence in Auburndale and took him into custody. He is currently in the Polk County Jail charged with:

• Attempted First Degree Murder (FL) (3 counts)
• Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle (F2)
• Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (F3)
• Tampering with Evidence (F3)
• Carrying a Concealed Firearm (F3)
• Criminal Mischief (F3)
• Improper Exhibition of a Firearm (M1)
• Discharging a Firearm in Public (M1)
• Battery (M1)