The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 22-year-old man early Sunday morning, March 29, 2020, in Winter Haven, after a deputy found him inside of a parked car with a 15-year-old girl, and neither of the car’s occupants had clothes on.
The investigation determined that Michael McDole of Groveland traveled to Winter Haven to meet the victim after the two made initial contact on the social media app Snapchat. The victim managed to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night.
The deputy responded to the area of 30th Street NW and Avenue F NW in Winter Haven regarding a suspicious vehicle. When he arrived just before 6:00 a.m., the deputy located a parked Silver Toyota. When he looked into the car, he saw McDole on top of the victim.McDole and the victim both appeared heavily intoxicated, and three empty wine bottles were found in the backseat area.
An examination of text messages between the two revealed that McDole was aware that the girl was only 15-years-old.
“We say this all the time, but we cannot say it enough, closely monitor your child’s internet access. Vile, lecherous people like this guy are out there preying on children on line and on many different social media apps. Luckily, someone saw a suspicious vehicle and said something to us immediately, and we were able to intervene. Parents: be nosy, know what apps your children are on, know their passwords, and monitor their online activity.” Grady Judd, Sheriff.
Michael McDole was transported to the Polk County Jail and charged with Lewd Battery on Minor Older than 12, but Younger than 16 (F2), Traveling to Meet to Meet a Minor to Seduce/Lure (F2), and Contributing To the Delinquency of a Minor (M1).
McDole’s prior criminal history includes charges for Burglary (3), Grand Theft, Petit Theft, and Resisting.
The investigation is ongoing.