On Sunday, January 22, 2023, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested Devonta Gilmore, 31, from Lakeland. Gilmore is a Physical Education teacher at Union Academy Magnet School in Bartow.
He was arrested for aggravated assault on a security officer.
A few minutes before 3 o’clock in the morning, police officers were called to Champions Gate in Davenport to investigate an incident of aggravated assault. Court papers showed that Gilmore was trying to enter the restricted area to recover his partner’s possessions. As he was not on the visitors’ list, the security guard at the gate denied him entry.
Gilmore then drove to another entrance to the gated community and was denied access again. He became angry, asking the victim, You want this smoke? You want this smoke? You wanna bump?”
He then proceeded to take out a gun from his waistband and show it to the victim, holding it in his lap. After this, Gilmore sped away in a black Audi sedan.
When the deputies arrived at the security booth to investigate the occurrence, Mr. Gilmore drove back to the area in a black Audi sedan. However, when he noticed the law enforcement, he drove away northward on Highway 27.
Subsequently, the deputies scoured the region and identified the car parked in a Publix parking lot. They attempted to communicate with the vehicle, and then noticed Mr. Gilmore crouching inside, attempting to hide. Consequently, he was apprehended and arrested.
Mr. Gilmore informed investigators that he begged the security guard to permit him entrance into the neighborhood and felt resentful when he was refused admission. He confessed that he displayed his handgun to the victim, put it on his lap and asked, “What, you want to bump?” He told detectives that “bump” meant engaging in physical combat.
At present, Gilmore is detained in the Polk County Jail and is being held without bond.