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Off-duty Lakeland police officer involved in road rage incident

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LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Officials with the Polk County Sheriff's Office report that deputies arrested 41-year-old Jerry Matthew Monroe of Lakeland today charging him with Misdemeanor Battery.  Monroe is a Police Officer with the Lakeland Police Department. 

On Sunday at about 5:41 p.m .  Polk County sheriff officials say Monroe along  was driving with his 14-year-old son in the car on County Road 540A in Lakeland when a car driven by Andrew Jones changed lanes in front of Monroe.  Deputies say both drivers exchanged words at the traffic light at Carter Road.  Two witnesses say Monroe left his car and yelled at Jones and his passenger, Victoria Paradise. 

When the light changed, officials say, Jones turned into the Highlands Square Shopping Plaza followed by Monroe and his son.  Witnesses say Monroe confronted Jones and shoved him against his car.  The two men went to the ground where Monroe eventually pinned Jones and began to punch him in the face.

Witnesses to the incident attempted to break up the fight along with a Papa Johns employee.  Officials say when the fight was over; Monroe continued to antagonize Jones saying, "Do you want more?  Do you wanna finish this?"

A security camera captured the altercation.  Jones went to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he was treated for several abrasions, and a possible concussion, and later released.

Monroe's son gave a sworn taped statement that he and his father were cut off by Jones, who passed too closely and did not use his signal.  He said his father became very upset, began yelling, and honked his horn several times.

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