Detective: Man shot himself after accusations

OKEECHOBEE — A local man recently hospitalized with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, has been arrested on molestation charges and is being held on bond in the county jail.

Randall Scott Ford, 53, N.W. 33rd Terrace, was arrested Aug. 21 on two felony counts of lewd or lascivious conduct – offender over 18 years of age. He is being held in the Okeechobee County Jail on a bond of $150,000.

Ford was first arrested Aug. 9 by Detective Corporal Ted Van Deman, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), on a felony charge of possession of a firearm/ammunition by a convicted felon.

That arrest stemmed from a July 10 incident in which Ford sustained the self-inflicted gunshot wound, stated the detective’s arrest report.

At the time of that incident, Ford was a suspect in the alleged molestation of two young girls. That case was assigned to Cpl. Van Deman, who learned of the shooting incident on July 11.

Randall Scott Ford, 53

“I conducted an investigation on the alleged suicide attempt. The initial findings of the investigation was that the suspect shot himself, in part, because of the accusations against him,” stated the detective’s probable cause affidavit which was used to get an arrest warrant.

Ford was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce for treatment of the gunshot wound. Although Cpl. Van Deman interviewed the man while he was hospitalized, an arrest was not made at that time.

According to the probable cause affidavit Cpl. Van Deman went to Ford’s home on Aug. 9 and placed him under arrest on the weapons possession charge. Ford has been in jail since that time.

The molestation allegations first came to light when OCSO Deputy Yero Todman took the initial report on July 10. The case was then assigned to Cpl. Van Deman.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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