The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Crime Reduction in Polk County, Florida

Posted on | February 7, 2023 | Comments Off on Crime Reduction in Polk County, Florida

Say hello to 21-year-old Alex Michael Greene and, while you’re at it, go ahead and say good-bye, because Mr. Greene shuffled off this mortal coil yesterday in Polk County:

Pandemonium took over on Winter Haven’s Havendale Boulevard at about 2 p.m. Monday when a suspect connected to last week’s mass shooting in Lakeland fled from law enforcement officers, was involved in several crashes and a carjacking, and was then shot to death by a Lakeland Police captain whom the suspect tried to run over.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said officers and detectives from the Lakeland Police Department, the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were watching 21-year-old Alex Michael Greene at a residence just outside of Eagle Lake “because they suspect he was involved with the shooting last Monday of 11 people in the city of Lakeland.”
Lakeland Police Chief Sam Taylor said they had a warrant on Greene for a burglary and they were hoping to bring him in to question him about the shooting, as well.
They were about to serve the warrant when Greene jumped into a white Silverado pickup truck and sped away, with Lakeland Police officers chasing him. Greene traveled north into Winter Haven, winding up on Havendale Boulevard as he weaved in and out of traffic. . . .
Judd said LPD Capt. Eric Harper, a 20-year law enforcement veteran who is in his 40s, “obviously sees the danger and is trying to pit the suspect and stop him so that we don’t have this pursuit on a very busy road.”
A pit maneuver involves a law enforcement officer purposely running his or her cruiser into the back side bumper of a vehicle to cause it to spin and stop. The Silverado came to a stop in front of Prime Care Chiropractic Center at 1400 Havendale Blvd.
Judd said Greene then got out of the truck and began running in and out of traffic, with Harper running after him.
“Why he and the captain weren’t run over is just the grace of God, because traffic was all over the place,” Judd said.
Greene then ran to Andreas Family Restaurant, next door to the chiropractic office. An older woman was visiting with friends in the parking lot, her passenger and driver’s side doors open as they exchanged a potted plant. Greene spotted the open car, circled the building and ran back to the woman’s Toyota Camry. The woman, who had witnessed the crash and saw Greene running, slammed her passenger door shut and ran to the driver’s door, but Greene beat her to it, shoved her out of the way and got into her Camry. She tried twice to open the door, but he began driving off.
Harper was now in front of Greene and the Camry, his service pistol pointed at Greene as Harper ordered him to get out of the car. Instead, Greene aimed the car at Harper . . . Harper then shot Greene at least six times.
Despite the gunshot wounds, Greene pulled back out onto Havendale Boulevard, heading west for about 50 yards until the car veered over the landscaped median, crossed the eastbound lanes and slammed into The Hamilton Company office, a security company, coming to rest halfway into the building. . . .
Greene was rushed to Winter Haven Hospital, where he died.

Well, I reckon the folks in Winter Haven can thank the late Mr. Greene for adding some excitement to their Monday afternoon, and also thank Captain Harper for ending this young criminal’s already lengthy career. In addition to being a suspect in a drive-by shooting in Lakeland that wounded 11 people and made national headlines, Mr. Greene had a record stretching back to when he was still a juvenile. At age 15, he was charged with “possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,” and had “two convictions of battery.” So far as I can tell, he was always either (a) committing crime or (b) behind bars, and he certainly didn’t spend as much time behind bars as he deserved. While the crime rate in Polk County probably isn’t very high, it’ll be a lot lower now that Mr. Greene has reached room temperature.

By the way, witnesses said there were four occupants of the car that committed that drive-by shooting in Lakeland, which means that three of the suspects are still at large, and if they want to try emulating their late accomplice Mr. Greene, I’m sure Polk County law enforcement will be happy to subtract them from the population, too.

If you look at a map of Florida, you can see that Polk County — a family-friendly community with lots of retirees — sits right between Tampa to the west and Orlando to the northeast, with I-4 running through. So the small-town cops in Polk County have to deal with a lot of criminals passing through between these two major urban centers, and it keeps them pretty busy, which is why Sheriff Grady Judd’s TV press conferences have become so legendary. Just so you know, Captain Harper was previously a Polk County deputy, and was involved in the manhunt for Angilo Freeland in 2006. Freeland was a drug dealer who made the mistake of driving through Polk County, where he got pulled over. When the deputy started asking questions about his fake ID, Freedland took off running into the nearby woods. A deputy with a K9 then showed up to search the woods for Freedland, who fatally shot both the deputy and the dog. A task force then combed through the woods until they found Freedland. They fired 110 shots, hitting him 68 times.

When asked why they fired so many shots, Sheriff Judd answered: “That’s all the bullets we had, or we would have shot him more.”

Sheriff Judd has been reelected by a landslide ever since.




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