Armed convicted felon accused of opening fire in Bartow neighborhood arrested after standoff: PCSO

Victor Garcia mugshot courtesy of the Polk County Sheriff's Office. 

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is touting the power of ‘see something, say something’ after Polk County deputies arrested a man they say barricaded himself inside a Bartow home after he was reportedly yelling and firing a handgun into the air and the ground in a Bartow neighborhood.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, it received 911 calls from several Bartow residents about convicted felon Victor Garcia, 33, causing a ruckus outside and shooting a gun at least eight times. 

Deputies say Garcia went into his house at 303 Citrus Highlands Drive East before they arrived. 

Investigators say they repeatedly ordered Garcia, in both English and Spanish, to come outside and he refused. 

Deputies say they established a perimeter and advised the neighbors to stay indoors.

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According to PCSO, Garcia’s family members revealed that he had firearms in the home. That information, along with witness testimony stating that Garcia was firing a gun into the ground spent shell casings, led deputies to get a warrant for his arrest on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, unlawful discharge of a firearm in a residential area, unlawful display of a firearm, culpable negligence, and resisting arrest.

Law enforcement officers say after hours of negotiations, Garcia came out of the home around 5 p.m. after the SWAT team introduced a chemical agent into the home. 

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Deputies say he surrendered and was taken into custody without incident. 

Deputies say they seized the firearms and ammunition from his house.

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"We're very grateful that nobody was injured during this event, and that the people who live in the area saw something, and said something," stated Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. "We will work hard to ensure Victor Garcia is held accountable for his reckless and dangerous actions yesterday."

Garcia was also charged with operating an unpermitted landfill, unpermitted waste tire collection, unlawful disposal of dead animals, possession of marijuana, and other crimes related to the extreme amount of trash, waste, and burned items in his yard.