POLK COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – The woman who threatened a patrol sergeant at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 11 and who was shot and killed as she advanced toward the sergeant with a shovel was 24-year-old Jessiram Hweih Rivera of Winter Haven . Rivera had an extensive arrest criminal history, including violent crimes, and including a previous battery on a law enforcement officer.
Rivera’s criminal history includes:
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19/12/2013; Osceola County SO; Exacerbated assault with a lethal weapon (F)
11/03/2016; Osceola County SO; Worsened battery with a lethal weapon (F)
12/04/2017; Kissimmee PD; Battery on law enforcement (F) guilty / convicted
12/04/2017; Kissimmee PD; Criminal misconduct (M)
12/04/2017; Kissimmee PD; Resisting violence (F)
25/02/2018; Orange County SO; Possession of cocaine (F) guilty / convicted
9/11/2018; Columbus PD (Nebraska); Refugee from Justice
27/09/2018; Osceola County SO; VOP
11/02/2018; Osceola County SO; Warrant arrest Other jurisdiction
7/11/2018; Orange County SO; Failure to appear in court (F)
7/11/2018; Orange County SO; Violation of conditional release
16/04/2019; WHPD; Warrant arrest Other jurisdiction (F)
18/04/2019; Orange County SO; Violation of probation / probation (F)
26/5/2020; PCSO; Possession of methamphetamine (F)
26/5/2020; PCSO; Possession of substances (M)
3/11/2020; PCSO; Exacerbated assault with a lethal weapon (F)
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deputy-involved shooting that took place Thursday afternoon, November 11, 2021, at approximately 1 p.m. 15:45 in Wahneta, in unincorporated Polk County, where 24-year-old Jessiram Hweih Rivera from Winter Haven attacked a deputy (sergeant) with a shovel.
Deputies were called to the area regarding a suspicious woman walking in and out of the moving traffic on Rifle Range Road near Noles Lane in Wahneta.
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Patrol Sergeant Sean Speakman, 46, arrived in the area around 6 p.m. 15.26. He located Rivera just south of Redemption Baptist Church on the west side of Rifle Range Road and tried to talk to her. She was in a distinct state of agitation, and she was holding a shovel. While Sergeant Speakman was talking to the woman on a private ground driveway, she lifted the shovel, pointed it at the sergeant, and began advancing toward him.
The sergeant gave her verbal commands to stop and put the shovel away several times and began reversing. She did not put the shovel away and continued to advance towards the sergeant, threatening him with the shovel. The sergeant fired four shots and hit the woman.
Sergeant Speakman radio that shots had been fired and began life-saving measures, including CPR, and continued until Polk County Fire Rescue arrived. Polk County Fire / EMS took over lifesaving efforts. Rivera was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Sergeant Sean Speakman, 46, was hired by PCSO in 1998 and began working in information technologies. He entered the Academy of Education and became vice sheriff in 2005. He was promoted to sergeant in 2018. He is a patrol sergeant working in the southeastern district.
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The standard protocol for all deputy shootings involves four independent investigations: the PCSO homicide unit conducts a fatal investigation, PCSO Administrative Investigations conducts an administrative investigation, the public prosecutor responded on the spot and will conduct a separate investigation, and the 10th District Medical Office will conduct an investigation to determine the cause and manner of death. Per agency protocol, the member involved will be on administrative leave with pay in the initial phase of the investigation.
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