ORLANDO, Fla. – A large law enforcement presence early Friday in Orange County resulted in the arrest of a man accused of kidnapping and sex battery on a child, according to deputies.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said deputies “attempted to contact a known sexual battery suspect near the 500 block of Pigeon Circle” near Lake Underhill Road and Chickasaw Trail.
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The man, later identified as 32-year-old Lawrence Livingston Peterson III, refused to come out of the home but was apprehended without issue after authorities spent several hours “making announcements.”
He faces charges for sex battery on a child between the ages of 12 and 17, sex battery with a firearm and kidnapping with a weapon.
Many families who live in the area had visitors in town for the Thanksgiving holiday when they were awakened around 3 a.m. by deputies.
“We were worried,” Yudita Granda said. “(There was a) knock on the door and police said we had to go to the back of the house.”
David Blasius said law enforcement suggested that his home should be evacuated.
“My daughter and my grandson, he’s about a year old, we got them out,” Blasius said. “Police literally escorted her to her car and got her out safely.”
Neighbors on Pigeon Circle said the standoff lasted several hours before officers walked a man out of the home with his hands behind his back.
“They brought in all their drones, smashed the door down,” Blasius said. “We heard them say, ‘Come out of your bedroom!’ They had to go around the other side of the house and put a hole there.”
Damage to the front entryway and side window was visible at the home. News 6 watched deputies continue to investigate late into Friday morning, some wearing gas masks.
“They started putting tear gas in,” Blasius said. “When he came out, he was staggering, and his eyes were shot.”
Peterson is currently booked in the Orange County jail, where he is being held without bond.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has not shared any other information on what happened.
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