AVON PARK — A traffic stop turned into a riot Wednesday night near the intersection of West Shoreline Drive and Tulane Drive in Avon Park.
Detectives with the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Anti-Crime Unit were in the midst of a traffic stop investigation around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday when Charmaine Davis, 27, of Avon Park and Javon Lamar Seymour, 28, of Avon Park, were part of a crowd that had formed around the detectives, according to reports.
Davis and Seymour encouraged and enticed harm towards the detectives, arrest reports show. Numerous commands were given for the crowd to step back and return to their homes, but they refused to comply.
As the commotion increased, others exited their residences and joined the crowd. When deputies advised Davis that she was enticing a riot, she stated, “Y’all are going to have to catch me, I ain’t going to jail,” according to reports. She then ran away and did not listen to commands. A deputy deployed his Taser on Davis to gain compliance then took her into custody, reports said.
The crowd was cursing and threatening to do violence against law enforcement. Based on his actions and the influence he was having on the crowd, deputies made the decision to arrest Seymour for inciting a riot, reports state.
When deputies approached Seymour, he reportedly ran inside his residence and locked the door. Deputies advised him that if he came back outside he would be placed under arrest, to which he responded by swearing at the deputies, according to reports.
A short time later, Seymour returned to his driveway inciting the crowd again. Deputies pursued him to his location and he ran again into his home, closing the screen door behind him. Deputies pursued him into the home where he was subdued and placed under arrest, reports state.
Several members of the crowd approached deputies and the detectives, impeding their investigation of the traffic stop. Darcel Latoya Dennis, 34, of Avon Park, encouraged others in the crowd to shout, threaten, harass and curse at law enforcement, reports state. Dennis’ actions caused law enforcement to focus their attention on her, impeding their investigation.
Dennis refused multiple commands by multiple deputies to remain at a safe distance from them while they were handcuffing another subject. Dennis continued to ignore the deputies’ warnings and was pepper sprayed for her efforts, then placed in handcuffs herself, reports state.
While deputies were placing Davis into custody, Keith Darroll Seymour, 30, of Avon Park, was given multiple commands to back away, which he did not comply with, reports state. Keith Seymour reportedly yelled derogatory comments at detectives and continually failed to comply with law enforcement causing others to exit their residences and join the riot.
Keith Seymour was given continuous commands to leave the area by several detectives on scene but he did not comply. A detective deployed pepper spray and gained compliance from Keith Seymour, reports state. He was placed under arrest.
Each of the four defendants were charged with one count of misdemeanor resisting an officer without violence, one count misdemeanor disturbing the peace and one count of felony inciting a riot.