POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Eight law enforcement agencies responded to the Avon Park Bombing Range Saturday night after an FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife) officer was run over by an ATV. Two of the three suspects have since been arrested.
According to officials, the FWC officer was patrolling the Avon Park Bombing Range when they noticed three individuals shining a spotlight from River Ranch into the Avon Park Bombing Range property.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the office was patrolling the area around a “hunting camp,” which is around 88,000 acres. Reports of people hunting at night were reported, and that’s why the FWC officer was on scene.
The officer began to follow two all-terrain vehicles on foot and then heard a gunshot.
Sheriff Judd said he approached the three men on the ATVs and took two shotguns from them.
One man “jumped” the officer, according to the sheriff, and began fighting with him.
A second man also began to fight with the officer and a third, unknown suspect is not yet in custody.
The two suspects who have been arrested have been identified as Michel Amalfi, 45, and Lazaro Milian, 44. Both are from Miami.
The officer was hit by a “side-by-side” ATV, according to Judd, and that vehicle has yet to be recovered.
Several agencies responded to the scene to assist, including the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Lakeland Police Department, Auburndale Police Department, Winter Haven Police Department and Lake Wales Police Department.
“When you attack one law enforcement officers… you attack all law enforcement officers,” Judd said during a press conference on Sunday.
“These folks from Miami made a mistake when they set up camp in Polk County… and wanted to attack one of our officers up here in Polk County,” he went on to say.
The officer was transported to a local hospital and has since been released and is now with his family.
“We’re going to chase you to the ends of the earth, or Miami, whatever it is… for attacking our officers last night,” Sheriff Judd said.
FWC is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone with information regarding the third suspect. FWC can be reached at 888-404-3922, or by calling *FWC or #FWC. A text tip can be sent to Tip@MyFWC.com.
Heartland Crime Stoppers can also be contacted at 1-800-226-8477.
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