Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives and the Lakeland Police Department have coordinated to investigate and arrest five people linked to the crimes and violence which tainted the May 30 and 31 protests in Lakeland.
Raul Guzman was charged with inciting a riot for making statements to attempt to start a riot in this area. A witness told police that Guzman said he “wants to riot” and “storm” the police department.
The arrest document stated that Guzman made “These statements were made in front of numerous people, and the language used was advocating violence and was intended to incite an immediate breach of peace.”
Carlos Fugarte, of Lake Wales, was charged with a written threat to kill after commenting on Facebook live video under the user “Woodboy Los,” let’s “go to Bartow and blow up the courthouse.”
Investigators identified the user as Fugarte and then contacted him on June 6.
Fugarte said he and his friends didn’t like that some people were setting fire to local businesses, but said he was not serious about his courthouse comment and that the comment “was a joke.”
“Fugarte intentionally used written electronic communication to transmit a threat of terrorism…,” the arrest report states.
Joshua Daniel, of Lakeland, was charged with felony criminal mischief.
Police explained that Daniel was blocking the intersection of Florida Avenue and Memorial Boulevard around 3 or 4 p.m. on May 31.
Daniel was identified as the man in the cowboy hat who kicked through the windshield and smashing the sunroof of one of the drivers.
The man in the car said the estimated damage is more than $1,000.
Anthony Martin Jr., of Winter Haven, was charged by Lakeland police with inciting a riot and soliciting to commit felony criminal mischief.
Martin, nicknamed “Cousin Champ,” posted a Facebook live video around noon on May 31, stating “black people need to tear down the courthouse, jails, the probation office, child support offices and the insurance companies offices,” according to an arrest report.
Detectives said Martin asked in the video who was going to meet him at Lakeland Mall and made comments about “tearing down” the city. Police say throughout the video, Martin encourages viewers to join him at the protest that had been scheduled in the city.
Zachary Root, of Lakeland, was charged with stalking/cyberstalking, after an incident on May 31.
Root was linked to hunting down information on a man traveling near one of the gatherings, near North Florida Avenue and Memorial Boulevard, attempting to dox him on social media.
“The defendant (Root) must have taken specific efforts to research and post the personal information within social media in attempts to identify the victim,” an arrest report states.