By Dawn Krebs
PORT ST. LUCIE - An identification system installed a little more than three months ago helped with the arrest of a teenager who chased a person with a knife at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center basketball court.
On Sept. 17, Lorenzo Lee Arnold of 1949 S.E. West Dunbrook Circle was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
He was caught, in part, because of a new card reader installed at the civic center that requires patrons to enter identification information, including a picture.
The incident took place on Sept. 16. Police records show civic center employees called police after they were informed of the assault in the gym.
When police reviewed the video footage of the gymnasium, it showed a man with something in his hand chasing another man. The video also showed other people stopped the chase.
After the officer viewed the tape, the person chased was found still at the gym. Upon questioning, the report said the man stated he knew the other man only as "Lorenzo," and that they had gotten into a short verbal argument about a basketball game.
It was at that point that Mr. Arnold took a knife out of a bookbag and started chasing the victim with it until he was stopped by other basketball players.
Civic center employees did a check on the name "Lorenzo" in the card reader database, which also provided a picture. Both the victim and a witness identified the person in the picture as the person who brandished the knife.
"The database program at the civic center is one where a name, photo and what programs that person does is stored on a database," said Master Sgt. Frank Sabol, public information officer for the Port St. Lucie Police Department.
"That information is shared between all the city-run park reception areas."
The next day, officers visited Mr. Arnold at home and arrested him on the aggravated assault charge, which Master Sgt. Sabol said the department feels was an isolated incident at the civic center.
"There's been no other situation like that at the civic center," he said. "It was a unique case."
The police department credits the newly placed card reader system for being helpful in the arrest.
"This is a good system to have in place so we know what's going on," he said.
"It helps both the employees and the residents."