Polk deputies search for hit-and-run suspect who killed sheriff’s office volunteer

HAINES CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office released a photo on Tuesday of the car involved in a hit-and-run crash that killed a Polk County Sheriff’s Office volunteer Monday morning in Haines City.

Deputies say 66-year-old Charles Hudson Jr. was riding his bike near Kokomo Road around 10 a.m. when he was hit by a car and killed. Deputies say the car was heading in the same direction as the bicyclist and appeared to be weaving.

The sheriff’s office has identified the suspect as 26-year-old Darrell Lavel Coleman Jr. from Lake Hamilton. Investigators say after he hit Hudson, he drove to Detour Road then abandoned his car and walked away.

Charles Hudson with Sheriff Grady Judd (Photo courtesy Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

Coleman’s nickname is “Smooth”. Detectives say he is likely in the Lake Hamilton area.

Hudson has been a volunteer with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office’s Citizen’s Assisted Patrol for the past three years.

“Charles was a beloved member of the Solivita CAP group, and a devoted volunteer at our agency,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.

“He told us that one of his greatest strengths was ‘being in great shape for someone my age.’ Tragically, he was killed while out doing something he loved – bicycling. We hope to have the person responsible for his death in jail before the day’s end. We won’t stop until we find him.”

Anyone with information on the crash or Coleman is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (863) 298-6200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS.

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