Winter Haven High School student arrested after a loaded handgun was found inside of his backpack. No students or faculty were injured.
On 2-26-2021, during class change, a teacher at Winter Haven High School smelled marijuana when he encountered 18 year-old DeShawn Lee Williams (DOB 8-24-02). The teacher sent an email to the school administration and an assistant principal responded to the room. The assistant principal asked Williams to allow his backpack to be searched. Williams refused and actively resisted causing both Williams and the assistant principal to fall to the floor.
A radio call went out and the school resource officer responded where he was able to gain control of Williams. As the backpack was searched by school officials, they found a loaded handgun inside. Further investigation found that the gun was stolen from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction. No drugs were found in the backpack.
“I applaud this teacher for acting on a suspicion,” Public Safety Director Charlie Bird said. “This could very well have prevented something much more serious from occurring, whether on campus or off.”
Williams was taken into custody and booked into the Polk County Jail on the following charges:
Possession of a Weapon o School Grounds (F.S. 790.115(2)(B)
Carry Concealed Firearm (F.S. 790.01(2)
Possession of Stolen Handgun (F.S. 812.014(2)(C)5
Battery on School Employee (F.S. 784.081(2)(C)
Resisting Officer W/O Violence (F.S. 843.02