BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) — A Polk County man was arrested after an alleged “reckless and dangerous” armed standoff with deputies on Monday.
The sheriff’s office responded to the Citrus Highlands Drive East area of unincorporated Bartow at around noon for a report of shots fired.
Dispatchers fielded multiple 911 calls from residents saying a man was out in the neighborhood, yelling and firing a handgun. They reported hearing at least eight shots, according to a release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies arrived to find Victor Garcia, 33, barricaded inside of his home. He allegedly refused to leave the home, so the sheriff’s office set up a perimeter and told nearby residents to stay inside.
Garcia is a convicted felon and is not allowed to own guns. Testimony from his family alleging there were firearms in the home, along with the neighbors’ 911 calls and spent casings found at the scene, established probable cause for his arrest, according to the release.
The sheriff’s office obtained a warrant for Garcia’s arrest on the following charges:
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
- Possession of ammunition by a convicted felon
- Unlawful discharge of a firearm in a residential area
- Unlawful display of a firearm
- Culpable negligence
- Resisting arrest
The PCSO SWAT team responded to the home and spent several hours negotiating with Garcia, according to the release. At 5 p.m., Garcia finally exited the home and was arrested after the sheriff’s office “introduced a chemical agent into the home.”
“We’re very grateful that nobody was injured during this event, and that the people who live in the area saw something, and said something,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “We will work hard to ensure Victor Garcia is held accountable for his reckless and dangerous actions yesterday.”
Deputies allegedly found an “extreme amount of trash, waste, and burned items” in the yard, which resulted in the following additional charges:
- Operating unpermitted landfill
- Unpermitted waste tire collection
- Unlawful disposal of dead animal
- Possession of marijuana
The sheriff’s office allegedly seized a loaded AR-15 rifle with magazines “holding several hundred rounds of ammunition” and a loaded Smith & Wesson M&P pistol, according to the release.