Man exposed himself, crashed car into tree while trying evade police, Lake Wales police say

Polk County

LAKE WALES, Fla. (WFLA) — Lake Wales police arrested a man Thursday after they say he exposed himself a block away from Lake Wales Library on Cypress Gardens Lane.

A police release stated that around 3:47 p.m. Thursday got two complaints about a man exposing himself around 230 East Park Avenue.

Detectives quickly identified the suspect as Leroy Towns, 61, of Lakeland, but Lake Wales police say that when officers approached him, Towns got in his Lincoln and tried to drive away, backing out of a parking space and jumping a curb while in reverse.

According to the department, the pursuing officer, Terry Schulze, tried to stop Towns by activating his emergency and drove forward to keep Towns from crashing into the patrol car, but Towns, still driving in reverse, sideswiped the vehicle and sped away.

Police say Towns kept speeding in reverse before crashing into a tree and a metal light pole. The release stated Towns then drove across both lanes of traffic, jumped another curb, and hit another tree while almost hitting a pedestrian.

At this point, Town’s car stopped working, and officers arrested him.

“This is another great example of officers showing restraint and using much less force than allowed to arrest a dangerous career criminal and sexual predator,” Chief Chris Velasquez said “This is also an example of someone who should have never been out of prison and allowed to victimize our citizens again.”

According to Lake Wales police, Towns has been arrested 16 times in Polk County, nine of these stemming from indecent exposure charges. Two of these instances are said to have involved children.

Town is said to have been to prison prison three times, serving a total of 10 years and five months. 

He now faces charges for exposure of sexual organs, fleeing or attempting to elude, resisting officer without violence, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and leaving the scene of a crash with property damage.

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