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Lakeland officer accused of making a false report of child abuse

A complaint was issued against the officer for an ongoing child custody battle, police say.
Credit: WTSP

LAKELAND, Fla. — A Lakeland police officer was arrested Friday after being accused of making a false child abuse report.

A warrant was issued for William Long, 47, who deputies say contacted the Department of Children and Families Child Abuse Hotline on May 20 to report concerns of a child abuse. The child was being taken care of a babysitter hired by the child's mother, according to police.

He used his own phone and police say a recording was taken of his voice on the call. He said he saw "unexplained scratches" on the child's back and a "puncture wound" on his hand and said he wished to remain anonymous, according to the news release.

Investigators say they met with the babysitter and the child the next day and saw no evidence of child abuse. The investigator contacted Long and Long said he had no concerns about the child's welfare.

On May 28, the police department said it received a complaint involving Officer Long surrounding his behavior with the ongoing child custody issue he was involved with.

He was charged with one count of making a false report of child abuse, abandon, or neglect to DCF, which is a third-degree felony. He chose not to speak to detectives, police say.

He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. 

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