Nearly five years after a brutal beating, a Lakeland man says he feels some resolution.
The City of Lakeland paid $275,000 to Joseph Florence, after an altercation with two Lakeland Police Department officers. Florence suffered a broken nose and broken jaw after the fight. He has since undergone several surgeries and says he has permanent neurological damage.
In 2011, Florence got into a confrontation with officers Heather Benthal and Nicholas Ivancevich. The police officers responded to Florence’s home after a neighbor had complained he was mowing and watering their yard without their permission. According to the original police report, Florence was not happy with how the neighbor maintained his yard so he would mow and water his yard without his permission. The neighbor asked police to warn Florence about trespassing.
Florence said when officers came to his door he answered all of their questions. “But after the same questions, over and over, I said I am going back inside,” said.