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

"Joker" arrested for vandalizing Polk deputy's car

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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. 

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