Polk County Florida Sherrif Grady Judd told reporters that deputies arrested a Lakeland, Florida man on Sunday for an alleged arson attempt. The suspect, 30-year-old Luke Neely allegedly threw a “Molotov cocktail” weapon at a residence in the neighborhood of Plantation Ridge.
The Polk County Sheriff’s office received a call about 8:11 a.m. about an attempted arson. Deputies responded, with the first deputy to arrive witnessing Neely getting into a pickup truck and fleeing. Deputies attempted a traffic stop but Neely continued fleeing south on US-98 and I-4 westbound.
Soon multiple deputies were in pursuit and were able to perform a Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT) during Neely’s flight. The first Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT) on Neely failed but the second attempt caused Neely to crash to a stop.
During the chase, Deputies fired on Neely after the second PIT maneuver, hitting Neely with three rounds. Neely was trying to flee on foot while being armed. Sheriff Judd explained that two rounds hit Neely in the right leg, while the third round hit Neely in the groin. Judd added, “That shot changed the looks of his groin forever, if you know what I mean,” implying that Neely had been shot in the penis.
Officials said Neely was in possession of an “AR-style” rifle when finally stopped, which initiated the shooting that incapacitated Neely. He was then disarmed from the rifle and another firearm he had on his person. Deputies began treating his wounds and he was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
Sheriff Judd said, “We are in the early stages of this investigation. One of our deputies sustained a wrist injury, but other than that, the only person who was injured is the arsonist who fled our deputies and threatened them. For this I am very thankful.”
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