LAKE WALES, FL. – Polk County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Lake Wales city commissioner Kristen Fitzgerald, 41, on Thursday, and charged her with one count of interference with child custody (F-3) and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (F-3).
Deputies say Fitzgerald removed an 11-year-old child from his home without permission and threatened him with a firearm.
According to the arrest affidavit, on June 2nd, around 10:50 pm, Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Lake Wales police responded to an armed disturbance in Lake Wales
Once on the scene, law enforcement learned that Fitzgerald took the 11-year-old boy, without permission of the child’s parents, and threatened him.
Deputies say that Fitzgerald accused the boy of touching her 13-year-old daughter in a sexual manner, but when the boy denied those allegations, Fitzgerald threatened to kill him.
During a forensic interview on June 3rd, the child told deputies that Fitzgerald had called and wanted to speak with him, not his mother. The boy told deputies that Fitzgerald arrived at his home and asked him to come outside, and that’s when Fitzgerald told him to get into the car.
The boy told police that he thought Fitzgerald was going to give him a gift for finishing the school year, but instead drove him to the ‘Honey House’ (Struther’s Honey) and confronted him about the sexual allegations.
Deputies say that Fitzgerald began to drive the boy back home, but pulled out a ‘purple handgun’ and told the boy, “You see this, I will bury you.”
Fitzgerald denied pointing a firearm at the boy, and told police that she was heartbroken when she heard the allegations from her daughter.
She remains in the Polk County Jail on no bond.
“We don’t expect this kind of behavior from anyone, but especially someone in public office. She should be held to a higher standard and should be setting the proper example – instead, she displayed what not to do as a human being. Her conduct, threatening a child with a gun, is horrendous, ” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
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