Corrections Officer Arrested

By Amy L. Edwards
The Ledger
amy.edwards@theledger.com

WINTER HAVEN -- A corrections officer accused of attacking two firefighters and two Polk County Sheriff's deputies was arrested Thursday afternoon at his Winter Haven home, a Sheriff's Office report said.

Michael Albert Vargas, 48, of Lagoon Road, was arrested on two charges of battery on a firefighter and two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

According to Vargas' arrest report, the two firefighters responded to the house after Vargas' father requested emergency medical assistance because Vargas had passed out and had not awakened.

When the firefighters arrived at the home, Vargas, who appeared intoxicated, jumped out of his bed and came at one of them, the report said. Vargas then "forcefully" pushed one firefighter, according to the report. As the firefighters tried to leave the house to call the police, the report said, Vargas came toward the other firefighter.

When two Polk County sheriff's deputies arrived at the house, the report said, Vargas originally refused to come outside.

When he did come outside, Vargas was carrying a pool stick and a bottle of beer, the report said.

"The suspect raised the pool stick up over his head in an offensive (attacking) position," the report said.

Vargas went back in the house, and when he came out a second time, the report said, Vargas came toward the two deputies with the pool stick, despite being ordered to put it down.

Vargas eventually came out of the house and was arrested.

The Florida Department of Corrections said Vargas is employed at the Bartow Work Release Center.

Vargas has three business days to notify his supervisor of his arrest. Once Vargas notifies his supervisor, the Department of Corrections will investigate to determine if he can remain employed.

Amy L. Edwards can be reached at amy.edwards@theledger.com or 863-802-7550.