Ron Moates The Ledger Polk County Hero

Sheriff Honors Former Lakeland Ledger Executive And Others With Commendation

POLK COUNTY, FL. – On August 27th, Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call regarding a person in distress off of Old Bartow Eagle Lake Road.

A father called authorities out of concern that his son, a Gulf War Veteran, may be having a mental health breakdown.

Polk County Sheriff Deputy Melissa Myers responded to the area to help locate and assist the man.

At the same time that the deputy was responding to the area, Ron Moates, former Ledger Director Of Advertising at The Ledger, current Sales Manager of Palm Construction, and his nephew Greg Roberts II, Project Manager for Palm Construction, were driving to survey a roofing project in the area.

Moates said that as they passed a home of a previous project, they noticed a man in the inset of the garage, that they didn’t recognize.

“I asked Greg if that was homeowner and he said no,” said Moates.

So the pair traveled to the homeowner’s father’s house to make him aware of the man standing in the garage inset.

Moates said at that time, the homeowner’s father, Mr. Polston, Moates, and Roberts, walked to the home next door to question the man about why he was on private property.

Soon after the three were talking to the man, Deputy Myers arrived last the location.

Roberts said that he heard the man speaking to Deputy Myers acting oddly and talking about “Dimensions” and that people were trying to kill him.

Moates said the man refused to comply with the deputy’s instructions, to sit down, while she continued to speak with him.

Left- Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, David Polston, Lynn Polston, Ron Moates, Greg Roberts II, and Greg Roberts

At that point, the man tried to flee the area and that’s when he punched Deputy Myers in the face.

“It all happened so fast,” said Moates. “Greg grabbed the man and took him to the ground.”

Moates said that he and the deputy jumped in to assist Roberts in holding the man down, preventing him from hurting himself or others, until other deputies arrived.

“We are blessed to live in a county where our citizens don’t hesitate when they see a law enforcement officer being assaulted. When this group of men saw Deputy Myers in crisis, they immediately jumped in to help her. Thanks to their quick actions, nobody else was injured, and the young man in distress was safely taken into custody. The words ‘thank you’ don’t begin to describe how grateful I am to them,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Former Ledger Publisher, current Publisher of The Free Press, Brian Burns said, “This doesn’t surprise me at all to hear that Ron jumped in to help. That’s his character and embedded into his DNA to help. He’s a wonderful friend and an incredible human being. Congratulations Ron, well deserved.”

On December 6th, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd honored the men who assisted Deputy Myers, with a Sheriff’s Commendation.

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