Cops: Man kicked out of Lakeland bar drives car into patrons

Polk County Sheriff's Office

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A Polk County man is behind bars after driving into a group of people outside of a Lakeland bar.

According to deputies, 27-year-old Jason Smith was kicked out of Masons Live on South Florida Avenue over the weekend for groping multiple women.

After being escorted out, Smith allegedly left in a white, older model Honda Civic.

An hour later, around 1:15 a.m., several staff members witnessed the suspect return in the same vehicle.

While in the parking lot, witnesses told deputies that Smith intentionally drove his car directly into two people, hitting one of them.

Smith then approached the front door of the venue and shot four rounds from his car into the air, deputies tell News Channel 8.

After reviewing surveillance video, investigators were able to identify and arrest Jason Smith.

Court documents show during an interview with detectives, Smith admitted to being at Masons Live during the incident and confirmed he hit someone with his car because he thought he was being surrounded.

Smith also claimed he did not shoot a gun, rather he threw firecrackers out of his vehicle.

Investigators recovered a shotgun from Smith’s girlfriend when he was arrested.

Smith is charged with aggravated battery, displaying a firearm during a felony, and discharging a firearm from a vehicle.

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