Lakeland Police Department officers stopped a city bus this afternoon as a 911 call indicated an armed man was threatening a passenger. Neil Dekle, 23, was arrested after a brief struggle with police.
The incident began at 4 pm when a teenage girl boarded a city bus at 2410 North Crystal Lake Drive. According to a witness who called 911 while the bus was on route, Dekle visible admired the girl’s shoes. The witness reported that Dekle indicated that he was going to take the shoes from the girl.
The witness reported to 911 dispatch that Dekle had a gun in his waistband and was shifting it about. The witness was able to report to police the location of the bus as it traveled through Lakeland. As the bus approached the downtown terminal, LPD officers stopped the bus and removed Dekle. They found the weapon was an unloaded pellet gun.
LPD reports that Dekle and the 15 year-old victim did not know each other prior to the incident. LPD charged Dekle with Armed Robbery, a first degree felony.
Photos of Neil Dekle and the gun taken from his possession are from the Lakeland Police Department