FLORIDA MAN ACCUSED OF SUGGESTING HE WAS POLICE OFFICER DURING SEXUAL BATTERY, ROBBERY ATTACK: COPS. ‘The suspect told the victim that he was with the narcotics unit and he had others officers outside the room,’ police said
January 1, 2021
A Florida man is accused of sexually violating and robbing someone he apparently met online after implying he was a police officer who "had other officers outside," the local sheriff’s office said.
Thomas Lee Simmons, 37, was arrested Tuesday and charged with armed sexual battery, armed robbery, grand theft and dealing with stolen property, all felonies, and providing false information to a law enforcement officer, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) said in a Wednesday press release.
Police received a call from a man saying he was attacked by someone he had been speaking with through a dating website, who was identified by authorities as Simmons. The pair had planned to meet at the Stay Plus Inn in Haines City, the sheriff’s office said.
But when Simmons arrived, he "pulled out a fixed blade with a brown handle from a sheath attached to his belt and told the victim to strip naked and lay on the bed," the sheriff’s office said.
Simmons is not believed to have specifically said he was a police officer or a member of law enforcement, but his words and actions suggested it, PCSO spokesperson Alicia Manautou told Fox News on Thursday.
"The suspect told the victim that he was with the narcotics unit and he had other officers outside the room," the sheriff’s office said. "During the encounter the suspect also pretended to talk on a radio to other individuals."
Simmons removed his clothes and allegedly sexually battered the man. He then "told the victim that he had ‘agents’ going to the victim’s sister’s house and they were going to ‘get her as well,’" police said.
Police also said Simmons stole the man’s iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods, driver’s license, passport and three pairs of Air Jordan shoes.
Investigators later tracked him down at his girlfriend’s Winter Haven home, where they recovered the victim’s stolen belongings and the knife believed to have been used, police said.
Simmons initially gave police the wrong identity, but later revealed his real name. He admitted "admitted to meeting someone for sex earlier at the Stay Plus Inn in Haines City" and to "taking the victim's belongings without permission," police said.
Jail records show he was also wanted on warrants at the time of his arrest and violated his parole.
Simmons remained behind bars as of Thursday. Information regarding legal representation was not available.
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