Crime

Two more teens arrested in assault of off-duty Sarasota police officer

Two teenagers were arrested on Tuesday in connection with the assault of an off-duty Sarasota police officer earlier this month, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident occurred on Feb. 7 at Payne Park, 2050 Adams Lane, Sarasota.

Detectives originally believed that five individuals took part in the crime, but they now say that only four people were involved.

The first suspect was arrested on Feb. 8. Deputies are still searching for the fourth suspect.

According to the sheriff’s office, the off-duty officer was jogging at the park around noon when he witnessed a group of teens harassing and hitting a homeless individual.

When the officer attempted to intervene, the teens turned on him and began to strike him. The group then fled the area.

The officer suffered minor injuries as a result of the incident. The sheriff’s office reports that both the officer and the original victim are doing well.

Scott Lunt, 16, was arrested on Feb. 8. and charged with felony battery on a law enforcement officer.

Dexter Williams, 15, and Alexavier Lewis, 16, were arrested on Tuesday. Both are charged with felony battery on a law enforcement officer.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office at 941-954-7062 or leave an anonymous tip via Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS.

Ryan Ballogg covers arts, entertainment, dining, breaking and local news for the Bradenton Herald. He won first place for feature writing in the Florida Press Club’s 2018 Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
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