"Joker" arrested for vandalizing Polk deputy's car - WFLA News Channel 8

"Joker" arrested for vandalizing Polk deputy's car

Posted: Updated:
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

It's not exactly "Batman arrests Joker", but it's close. 

A man who left a note on the front door of a Polk deputy sheriff's residence after vandalizing the deputy's patrol car twice, vandalizing his personal vehicle and stealing items from both was arrested Friday. According to officials, the suspect also burglarized and vandalized another property in the area.  The note on the front door read: "The Joker is here! Jokes on you, Bi***. ******!"  

Matthew James Lash, 22, of Arrowhead Boulevard in South Lakeland is facing a list of charges including criminal mischief, petit theft, and firing a BB gun into a structure.

Deputies say Lash threw concrete blocks and concrete landscaping rocks at the patrol car early Tuesday morning causing $1,129 worth of damage shattering a window and stole a rechargeable Maglite flashlight from within the patrol car. Lash also broke out the windows of the deputy's personally owned pickup truck causing $1,769 worth of damages. 

The second incident occurred early Friday morning.  A man living in the same neighborhood reported that someone was attempting to open the sliding glass door into their bedroom.  As the man started to investigate, someone,later determined to be Lash, threw a landscape rock through their Florida room sliding glass door causing $3,000 worth of damage.  As the residents investigated further, they heard loud noises coming from the area of Matthew Lash's residence on Arrowhead Road. They also noticed that the deputy's driver's side window was broken out a second time. 

Deputies arrived and found Lash out in the street with a bb-gun rifle; he was acting erratically.  He was ordered back to his home but later came out with a box cutter.  He was then taken into custody.  The note was also found on the front door of the deputy's residence.

During interviews with Lash, he admitted to the vandalism and burglaries.  He later told deputies that he was drinking, got angry, and that he holds no ill will towards the deputy. 

"We take it very seriously when someone specifically targets a law enforcement officer at his home or at work," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.  "When people target deputies and other public servants, they are targeting the community's public safety.  We don't take it as a joke and we will make sure "The Joker" is held accountable for his actions."

Lash was transported to the Polk County Jail where he is being held on no bond pending first appearance. 

  • NewsMore>>

  • Closing arguments to begin in McTear trial

    Closing arguments to begin in McTear trial

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:09 AM EDT2014-07-30 09:09:53 GMT

    Closing arguments begin Wednesday morning in Richard McTear's murder trial. 

    Closing arguments begin Wednesday morning in Richard McTear's murder trial. 

  • An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:58 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:58:27 GMT
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.

  • Parents of Sarasota teen hit by stray bullet want others held accountable

    Parents of Sarasota teen hit by stray bullet want others held accountable

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:33 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:33:00 GMT
    17-year-old Teria'le was killed by a stray bullet Monday morning in Bradenton.17-year-old Teria'le was killed by a stray bullet Monday morning in Bradenton.
    The parents of a 17 -year-old girl who was hit and killed by a bullet not meant for her are looking for justice. Teria’le Rawls was killed Monday morning when she was hit by a bullet while at a party in the Royal Palm Movie Theater parking lot in Bradenton.
    The parents of a 17 -year-old girl who was hit and killed by a bullet not meant for her are looking for justice. Teria’le Rawls was killed Monday morning when she was hit by a bullet while at a party in the Royal Palm Movie Theater parking lot in Bradenton.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Small cars fare poorly in crash tests

    Small cars fare poorly in crash tests

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:59 AM EDT2014-07-30 07:59:53 GMT
    The four-door Mini Cooper Countryman was the only one of 12 cars to earn a top rating of "good" in new frontal crash tests.
    The four-door Mini Cooper Countryman was the only one of 12 cars to earn a top rating of "good" in new frontal crash tests.
  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • Lawsuit: Failed Circumcision Never Happened

    Lawsuit: Failed Circumcision Never Happened

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:33:55 GMT
    Doctors accused of amputating a man’s penis during a circumcision asking for dismissal
    Doctors accused of amputating a man’s penis during a circumcision asking for dismissal
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.