Lawn-mowing neighbor tased, fights with police

7:33 AM, Mar 11, 2011   |    comments
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Joseph Florence


Lakeland, Florida - A man who police say had been drinking and was trying to mow his neighbor's lawn ended up in a violent fight with two officers.

It was 8:00 Tuesday night when Joseph Florence, 57, decided he was fed up with the way his neighbor's lawn and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Photos: Joseph Florence beaten by cops (WARNING PHOTOS ARE GRAPHIC!)

According to Lakeland police, Florence went into his neighbor, Steven Roth's house and connected a water hose to Roth's spicket and starting watering the lawn. When Roth asked Florence to leave, he refused and so Roth called 911 on his neighbor.

Two Lakeland Police, Officers Nicholas Ivancevich and Heather Freeman arrived and started talking to the two men about the dispute. Roth told them that Florence takes it upon himself to regularly come over uninvited and mow his lawn.

Officers say when they first made contact with Florence they could immediately smell alcohol on him. They tried to to talk to Florence about the dispute but they say he became aggressive and refused to calm down. He was becoming increasingly aggravated as he talked about how the way his neighbor kept his yard was a reflection on his property.

When Officer Ivancevich went to arrest Florence, he allegedly hit the officer in the face and tried to choke him. Officer Freeman tried to taser Florence three different times as he fought with her partner but it didn't stop him. The two continued to struggle and Florence managed to tear the officer's radio microphone from his shirt.

Both officers were injured before they could get Florence in handcuffs. Officer Ivancevich and Florence both were treated for injuries at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Florence was later booked into the Polk County Jail on two counts of battery to a law enforcement officer, assault on a law enforcement officer, two counts of resisting an officer with violence, depriving an officer of communication and resisting an officer without violence.


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