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High School Student Arrested and Charged with 3 Felonies for Bringing Handgun to School and Making Threats in Lakeland, Florida

Hand cuffs 700x311 Arrested

Polk County, FL - The Polk County Sheriff Office (PCSO) is reporting that on Wednesday morning, October 26, 2022, just after 8:00 a.m. the school resource deputy (SRD) at Tenoroc High School, 4905 Saddle Creek Road in Lakeland, received an anonymous tip that a student allegedly brought a gun to school.

The SRD identified and located the suspect, Santiago Soto-Garcia of Lakeland, and found a pistol in his jacket pocket, and a magazine with twelve 9mm rounds in it in his pants pocket. The black and tan semi-automatic pistol chamber was empty and it was marked with insignia for Patmos P80. It did not have any serial number on it.

During the investigation, the deputy learned he also threatened a student with the firearm. The deputy located the victim and interviewed him, who told the deputy that he went into the bathroom and saw the suspect in a stall with other students. When the suspect saw the victim, he called the victim a derogatory phrase, and the victim walked away. Soto-Garcia then followed the victim and told him that he would shoot him. The victim said Soto-Garcia then reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a handgun.

Soto-Garcia was arrested and charged with:

  • Possession of a firearm on school campus (F3)
  • Carrying a concealed firearm (F3)
  • Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (F3)
  • Disruption of a school function (M2)
  • Possession of a firearm by someone under 18 years old (M1)
  • Possession of a firearm with an altered serial number (M1)

"The student who sent in the anonymous tip about this boy bringing a gun onto the school campus is a hero. This is a perfect example of someone seeing something and saying something. The safety of our children is the most important thing in the world, but we can't keep people safe without you - you are our eyes and ears." - Grady Judd, Sheriff

 

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