SCSO faces July arson, fights, vandalism in Lakeland

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office handled the following incidents in Lakeland during July.

Editor’s note: All suspects are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and values are estimated for stolen/damaged items. These are brief summaries of detailed SCSO reports.

July 3

Woodland Birch Drive (simple assault/domestic violence)

Officers met a woman and her husband, an intoxicated man with a bleeding face, July 3 at a domestic disturbance scene on the 10000 block of Woodland Birch Drive.

The man’s lips were abraded on his left side. He said an argument led to a shoving match, and he lost his footing. He felt to the floor and struck his mouth, he said. AMR took care of his wounds at the scene.

The woman said he came home drunk at 5:30 a.m., got mad about the locked garage doors and charged at her when he came inside. She yelled at him for coming home late and intoxicated, knowing she had to be at work at 6:30 a.m. and he had to keep the children (ages 17, 10, 9 and 5).

The oldest child didn’t see the fight but heard the yelling and called the sheriff’s office.

The couple’s stories differed on how the shoving began, and they showed no signs of abrasions or bruises other than the ones from the man’s fall. Deputies saw a few broken ornaments and blood drops on the floor inside. Deputies didn’t arrest either adult because they couldn’t determine who the primary aggressor was.

The man’s ex-wife picked up the children, the wife went to work and the man stayed at home.

July 5

U.S. 64 and Chambers Chapel Road (theft of vehicle parts/accessories)
Click to enlarge.

A Lakeland man discovered on July 5 that someone had replaced his truck’s license plate with a stolen one. He got the head’s up when a deputy asked him about a wanted fugitive and if the right tag was on his vehicle. It wasn’t.

He said the theft probably happened while he parked his truck near U.S. 64 and Chambers Chapel in an attempt to sell it between 9 a.m. July 2 and 9 p.m. July 4. No latent fingerprints were found on the license plate.

The deputy said a suspect wanted on a second-degree murder warrant has been exchanging license plates from multiple silver Ford F150s in attempt to evade arrest. On the deputy’s advice, the man reported the theft to the Memphis Police Department. A dispatcher entered his license plate’s information into the National Crime Information Center’s database.

Eagle Hill Cove (simple assault/domestic violence)

A woman with a sprained wrist reported that her husband hurt her on July 6. They were arguing at their home on the 4200 block of Eagle Hill Cove when a folded piece of paper fell out of his pocket. She picked it up, but he grabbed her left forearm and wrist until she dropped the paper, she said.

The officer came to Methodist Minor Med (8035 Club Parkway) to take the report. The nurse practitioner said there was no swelling but the woman’s wrist appeared to be sprained.

July 7

Winward Slope (felony vandalism)

Someone hit and bent a Mammoth basketball goal at a victim’s home on the 9800 block of Winward Slope Drive. On July 7, she reported her suspicions that an Enterprise moving truck from Macy’s damaged the goal’s embedded post while delivering furniture to a nearby home earlier that day. She estimated damages at $1,500.

Rockcreek and U.S. 64 (aggravated assault)

An apparently drunk man tailgated a woman driving with her children and menaced them with a gun, she reported on July 7.

The victim said she was exiting Interstate 40 westbound and turning onto U.S. 64 when a white pickup began tailgating her. The driver kept revving the engine and getting very close, she said, and she feared that he would ram her.

She pulled off U.S. 64 into the Circle K parking lot, but the suspect cut in front of her and blocked her vehicle. Then he approached the family, said “I’m gonna blow your a__ off” and waved a small black semi-automatic handgun at them, she said. She called for help when he went inside the store. But the suspect saw her calling, and he returned to his truck. She and her daughters fled with him following closely and revving his engine, but they got away and waited in the Kroger parking lot on U.S. 64 until officers arrived around 9:15 p.m.

Officers saw the man’s empty truck parked in the same lot and spotted his Taurus handgun box inside in plain sight. When the suspect returned, officers detained him and got permission to retrieve the gun. The 9mm weapon had seven rounds and was in the truck’s door. The suspect admitted he confronted the woman but said nothing happened.

Three Memphis Police Department officers arrived but refused to work the scene even though the incident happened in the city.

The suspect smelled of alcohol and admitted drinking Jack Daniels whiskey before leaving work. An officer took him to the Shelby County Jail on charges of aggravated assault and possession of a handgun while impaired.

I-40 and Canada Road (simple assault/domestic violence): The Collierville Police Department alerted the SCSO to a domestic incident that happened in the county on July 6. A man told CPD that his wife of 20 years hit their 15-year-old daughter in the mouth and left her at the Shell Gas Station at the intersection of I-40 and Canada Road around 7:50 p.m. The mother called the dad to pick up the child.

The daughter said she got annoyed because her mother picked her up late, making her late to a swim meet at Colonial Country Club. They got lost and the mother asked for the daughter’s cell phone to look at the GPS, but the teen refused.

She said her mother then called her retarded, crazy, b____ and autistic and then punched the teen’s mouth hard enough to make her lips swell and bleed. The teen fled the car into the Shell gas station and called her dad.

The mother told the officer her own phone had no power so she asked to see her daughter’s phone. The girl told her “NO” and said she would tell her where to go. The mother pulled over at the gas station to show that her phone was dead, and she tried to take her daughter’s phone when the teen refused again to hand it over. She said that’s when her daughter got out and went into the store. She denied hitting her. She said she knew her daughter wouldn’t come back out, so she called her husband to pick up their child.

The responding officer saw a small bruise on the right side of the victim’s mouth and arrested the mother on simple assault/domestic violence charges.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

July 8

Longbridge Cove and Shadowbridge (misdemeanor drugs/narcotics violation)

An officer found two people parked on the street in a minivan that smelled of marijuana around 12:30 a.m. July 8.

Their gold Toyota Sienna was running with the parking lights on and at first seemed to be unoccupied. Then two people emerged from the back seat and climbed up front. The officer smelled raw marijuana coming from inside the vehicle and questioned them about narcotics. One suspect said a glass pipe was in the rear of the vehicle, and the other suspect said a bag of marijuana was in the glovebox.

The officer recovered the bag, rolling papers and two pipes. Testing later showed that the substance in the bag was marijuana with an 8.9 total gram weight.

One suspect was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia (rolling papers). The other was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia (the two pipes).

July 9

Woodland Pine Cove (credit card/ATM fraud)

A woman noticed suspicious debit card charges appearing on her account, but she still had the card in her possession. She reported July 9 that four transactions happened over about 12 hours.

The charges were $87.19 and $248.32 at a Ross Store, two transactions of $402 each at a Rainbow FoodMart and three bank withdrawal fees of $2.50. She said she has no idea who could be using her debit card with her personal identification number.

July 13

Ivy Oak Lane (other larceny/access device)

Someone fraudulently charged $2,513.30 to a woman’s new Sears credit card, the victim reported on July 13.

Her statement showed many unauthorized charges in June, mostly at Gabe’s Market in Memphis, and the card was missing from her wallet. Other locations included Frida’s Mexican Restaurant and Rum Boogie in Memphis, Kroger Fuel in Oakland and several Memphis BP and Shell stations.

She last saw the card around June 15 but said she keeps her wallet with her everywhere. She didn’t know where the card was taken but said she spent a lot of time at her father’s home in Cordova during May and June. Several extended family members and others she didn’t know were in and out of the house, providing home health care to her father. She has since cancelled the card.

July 15

Autumnlight Drive (other theft/non-specific)

A man said his neighbor on the 9900 block of Autumnlight Drive took a small flagpole from his property. The victim was using the flag and pole to block the view of a camera that the neighbor had placed in a tree and aimed at the victim’s house.

Another neighbor, a juvenile, said he witnessed the theft. The suspect was repositioning the camera on the tree when the witness approached, and the suspect said, “Do you have a problem? … Keep it up and you will.”

The responding deputy saw the camera aimed at the victim’s home and wrote in the report that this is an ongoing issue between the neighbors. (See the July 21 incident involving a damaged security camera and the same two aggrieved neighbors.)

July 20

Canada Road (theft from building)

An employee at Waffle House (3640 Canada Road) said she left her purse on a table in the storage room and later discovered cash was missing around 1 p.m. July 20. She reviewed security footage and named the woman she saw rifling through her purse and taking the money.

A man confirmed that he and the suspect were at the restaurant that day but said he wasn’t aware of the theft.

July 21

Winward Slope Drive (felony vandalism/domestic violence)

A mother on the 9800 block of Winward Slop Drive reported July 21 that she suspected her son of vandalizing her SUV while it was parked in her driveway the previous day.

She told him to leave around 8 p.m. July 20, and when they argued he said, “I’ll blow my brains out, and it will be all your fault.”

He moved his belongings out within the next couple of hours and reportedly told her, “See how you like your truck now.” She said she checked her GMC Yukon after he and a companion left because he’s put sugar in her gas tank previously, but she didn’t see any damages.

The next morning, she saw a clear liquid streaking the paint on the passenger side and hood of her Yukon. She estimated damages at $2,500 but said no one actually saw her son apply the liquid.

Her son’s friend texted her that the son had left a suicide note. The mother found it in the house. The note didn’t explicitly say he was going to kill himself but it did mention him dying.

She described another alarming incident that happened midday on July 18, although she didn’t report it at the time. The mother was hosting a gathering of 11 people at her home, including her son. When she told him to leave, he got her rifle, put it to his head in front of everyone and threatened to kill himself. The mother told everyone else to go outside, and she locked herself in her bedroom for about an hour until he calmed down and put the rifle away.

Autumnlight Drive (misdemeanor vandalism)

A man filed a complaint on July 21, saying his neighbor on the 9900 block of Autumnlight Drive damaged one of his surveillance cameras.

The victim said the camera was mounted on a tree near the curb between his house and the suspect’s home. Because of late night traffic in front of his home, he said he aimed the camera at the stop sign east of his home to capture license plate numbers. He said he has video showing the suspect striking the camera with an object.

There was no workable crime scene, and the officer advised him to save the video for a further investigation. The incident is part of ongoing disputes between these neighbors. See the July 15 flagpole theft incident in this report.

July 22

U.S. 64 (misdemeanor vandalism)

A woman working out at LA Fitness (9020 U.S. 64) on July 22 said someone shattered her vehicle’s rear passenger window while she was inside, 7:30-9 p.m. She didn’t find that anything was missing.

July 24

Gainsborough Drive (theft from motor vehicle)

While a family was away between 6 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. July 24, someone stole a man’s backpack from his car on the 9100 block of Gainsborough Drive. The backpack contained a silver Hewlett Packard laptop ($850) and a $100 Visa gift card.

Officers saw no signs of forced entry, and the man said he often left his Pontiac G6 unlocked. A crime scene technician lifted a print from the driver’s side front door handle.

July 27

Canada Road and I-40 (arson)

A witness spotted a man starting a fire with a cigarette lighter at the construction zone at Canada Road and I-40 before dawn on July 27. Three Shelby County Department 65 firefighters on scene pointed the officer to someone lying on a bulldozer on the north side of the intersection. The officer found two cigarette lighters in his pockets.

The man smelled of an intoxicant and said he was staying at the Relax Inn on Canada Road. He also said he had been drinking.

The witness said he and a co-worker spotted a fire in the rear of a company truck around 2:45 p.m. A strap ($35) was on fire, and they extinguished it, guessing that someone must have thrown a cigarette out in the truck. Both men said they then saw the suspect trying to light something next to the fuel tank in one of the bulldozers belonging to Bell Construction.

One officer saw a folded Bud Light box next to the fuel tank, which had its cap removed. The dozer appeared to be undamaged.

A check of NCIC showed that the suspect has an active Texas warrant for DUI and violation of probation.

July 28

Front Nine Drive (intimidation)

A woman said a female friend began sending her threatening messages on July 28 about the friend’s husband.

The messages warned the victim not to send pictures or call the friend’s husband, and the messages threatened that the suspect would “f___ you up” and “You messed with the wrong married couple.”

The victim said she hasn’t had any contact with the other woman’s husband.

July 29

Fir Hill Drive (false pretenses/swindle/confidence game)

A woman charged a Michael Kors purse to her debit card on July 18 but never received the product after placing the online order for $70.01. She said she later learned that the site,, was not a real Michael Kors website. She reported the incident on July 29.

July 30

Owl Hill Drive (threatening phone call)

A woman said July 30 that her ex-husband left threatening voice messages on her cell phone around 6 p.m. that night. The messages included “I’m come after you and kill everyone there” and “I’ll bury everyone.”

July 31

Woodland Hills (misdemeanor vandalism)

Officers spotted a Dodge Caravan with a broken driver’s side window around 1:42 a.m. July 31 and contacted the owner. The man, a resident on the 10200 block of Woodland Hills, said he wasn’t aware of the vandalism but recalled hearing a noise outside around 1:30 a.m. He said this has happened previously. Nothing appeared to be missing from the vehicle.

The report notes that a similar incident happened on Breezy Valley Drive at 12:19 a.m.