Unincorporated Lake

Suspect Rams 3 Deputies in Stolen Truck, Flees Across 2 Counties, Carjacks SUV and Crashes into School Bus in Groveland Friday  

GROVELAND, Florida—A man is facing a slew of charges in Lake and Orange counties after stealing a struck, ramming three Lake County Sheriff’s Office patrol cars, carjacking a citizen and crashing into a school bus Friday morning, according to LCSO Lt. Fred Jones.

LCSO received a call from the owner of the truck around 6 a.m. and she said her truck had been stolen in the middle of the night. She provided GPS coordinates to LCSO, and deputies tracked to truck to a gas station near Hartle Road in Clermont, Jones said.

They found Joseph Crawford, 23, of Groveland, pumping gas; he fled when he saw deputies, ramming two patrol cars, disabling one. He was later boxed in at a construction site, where he rammed a third patrol car, Jones said. LCSO successfully deployed stop sticks and Crawford continued into Oakland in Orange County. The truck became disabled and he attempted to carjack a vehicle, but was unsuccessful. He then carjacked a Ford Bronco as the driver was exiting the SUV and then fled back to Lake County.

Joseph Crawford was sentenced to three years in prison for false imprisonment and leaving the scene of a crash. He was released in March 2022. PHOTO: Florida Department of Corrections

 He continued fleeing into Groveland, where he crashed into a school bus carrying three children and two adults. None of the occupants on the bus were injured, according to Jones.

Groveland Police Department took Crawford into custody and he was transported to an Orlando hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He is facing three counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding, grand theft, and resisting in Lake County, Jones said. He is facing additional charges in Orange County.

Crawford’s Lake County booking information and mugshot were not available at press time.

Woman, 70, Hits Woman Blowing Leaves and Flees Because She Didn’t Want to be Late for Her Appointment, Suspect Tells FHP

MOUNT DORA, Florida—A Mount Dora woman was arrested Monday after hitting a woman blowing leaves and fleeing the scene, according to an arrest affidavit.

Florida Highway Patrol responded to Sullivan Ranch just before 11 a.m. Monday on a report of a hit-and-run crash. The victim, a 49-year-old woman, told a trooper she was blowing leaves on Sullivan Ranch Boulevard in unincorporated Mount Dora when an elderly woman hit her in a gray Toyota. The victim said she attempted to speak to the woman, but she said, “she did not have time to sit there and wait for someone to show up,” the affidavit states.

The victim was able to get the tag number on the car and said the car should have a damaged right mirror from the collision. FHP obtained a name and address for the registered owner and the victim said she was in a lot of pain and she was transported to AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares for treatment.

FHP went to the home of the registered owner, also in Sullivan Ranch, and spoke to him. He said his wife, Karin Elizabeth Sanfilippo was driving the Toyota Corolla that the trooper found had an extremely damaged right mirror. Sanfilippo, 70, admitted she was driving and said she “did not want to be late to an appointment she had,” the affidavit states.

Sanfilippo was arrested for leaving the scene of a crash with injuries and transported to the Lake County Jail, where she was released on $5,000 bond.  

Clermont Motorcyclist Dead in Wednesday Afternoon Crash

CLERMONT—A motorcyclist was killed Wednesday after an SUV turned in front of him, troopers say.

Just after 2:45 p.m., a 51-year-old Clermont woman was traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 27 near Clermont in a 2015 Cadillac SRX. She attempted to make a left turn on Green Cove Boulevard and turned into the direct path of a 2014 Triumph motorcycle traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 27, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Tara Crescenzi said. The motorcycle, being ridden by a 51-year-old Clermont man, struck the SUV.

The motorcyclist was transported to South Lake Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased, Crescenzi said. The driver of the SUV suffered minor injuries and was not transported. The crash backed traffic up for miles and remains under investigation.

Map: Florida Highway Patrol

Woman in Stable Condition After Umatilla Crash Tuesday Night

UMATILLA—For the second time in less than a week, the Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a crash that resulted in serious injuries near Umatilla.

There was little information available Wednesday morning, including how the crash occurred. A 55-year-old Sorrento woman was driving a white 2016 Chevrolet Cruze shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday when she crashed for an unknown reason, striking a stop sign, street signs and a concrete pillar at State Road19 and Beach Street in front of Silver Beach Heights.

The woman was airlifted to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford, formerly Central Florida Regional Medical Center, in critical condition as a trauma alert, but is now in stable condition, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi told Inside Lake.

A concrete pillar is seen here after being hit by a Chevy Cruze Tuesday night near Umatilla. The driver, a 55-year-old Sorrento woman, is in stable condition. Courtesy photo

On Friday night, a 37-year-old Leesburg man was traveling southbound in the northbound inside lane on State Road 19, near Orange Avenue just north of the Eustis city limits in a Nissan Versa.

The Nissan struck a Ford Taurus traveling southbound and attempting to turn left on Orange Avenue. Both drivers were transported to local hospitals.

FHP continues to investigate both crashes.  

LCSO Identifies Armed Man Killed in Deputy-Involved Shooting Friday

CLERMONT, Florida—The suspect shot by Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies Friday has died.

Deputies went to 9201 Pine Island Road in unincorporated Clermont to perform a well-being check on Donald Charles Brady, 69, Friday morning according to LCSO Sgt. Jim Vachon. Brady, the owner of the home, was armed with a rifle and handgun and confronted deputies who took cover and attempted to communicate with him.

“As events unfolded, an officer-involved shooting occurred,” Vachon said Friday afternoon. Brady was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. No other details have been released.

Brady was charged with driving on a suspended license in 2019, he pleaded no contest and was sentenced to probation, according to Lake County Clerk of Court online records.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is investigating the shooting, standard practice in an officer-involved shooting.  

Barricaded Subject Shot by LCSO, Transported to the Hospital, Officials Say

CLERMONT, Florida—The barricaded man the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was attempting to negotiate with has been shot, according to LCSO Sgt. Jim Vachon.

“As events unfolded, an officer-involved shooting occurred,” Vachon said. “The suspect has been transported to the hospital for treatment, no law enforcement officials were injured.”

Deputies were on a well-being check at 9201 Pine Island Road when they were confronted by the man, who was armed with a rifle and handgun, Vachon said. Deputies took cover and attempted to communicate with the man, but he retreated into the home and refused to speak with deputies Friday morning.

The man’s name has not been released.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is on the scene investigating, standard practice in an officer-involved shooting.  

BREAKING NEWS: LCSO Attempting to Negotiate with Barricaded Subject in Unincorporated Clermont

CLERMONT, Florida—The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to negotiate with a barricaded subject in unincorporated Clermont, according to LCSO Sgt. Jim Vachon.

Deputies were on a well-being check at 9201 Pine Island Road when they were confronted by an individual armed with a rifle and handgun, Vachon said. Deputies took cover and attempted to communicate with the man, but he retreated into the home and refused to speak with deputies.

“The LCSO Crisis Negotiations Team is working towards a peaceful resolution,” Vachon said.

LCSO is asking everyone to avoid the area.

Oviedo Man Killed in SR 46 Crash Sunday Night

SORRENTO, Florida—A 23-year-old Oviedo man was killed Sunday night after he ran off State Road 46, struck a fence and collided with a bridge support, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The man was driving a Ford F-450 eastbound on State Road 46, east of State Road 453 around 7:35 p.m. Sunday, when he ran off the road for an unknown reason, struck a fence, continued on and struck a bridge support, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said in a press release.

The man was entrapped, and Lake County Fire Rescue and Mount Dora Fire Department responded to assist, sources told Inside Lake.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene and the crash remains under investigation.   

State Attorney Creates Animal Cruelty Task Force

OCALA, Florida—In an effort to streamline delivering justice to those who hurt animals, State Attorney Bill Gladson has created an Animal Cruelty Task Force for the Fifth Judicial Circuit that includes Lake, Citrus, Hernando, Marion and Sumter counties, his office said in a press release last week.

The task force includes the Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC,) county animal services, and local law enforcement agencies and the goal is for law enforcement, animal services and animal protection organizations to work together to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty crimes throughout the circuit, according to the press release.

State Attorney Bill Gladson PHOTO: Florida Bar

“My office is committed to aggressively prosecuting animal cruelty cases, and I am grateful for the team which shares our commitment,” Gladson stated. “The reach of these crimes goes beyond harm to innocent animals; these criminals pose a risk to the entire community.”

Animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, nearly 70 percent have criminal records.

BREAKING NEWS: FHP Investigating Fatal Crash on SR 46

SORRENTO, Florida—The Florida Highway Patrol in investigating a fatal crash on State Road 46 at State Road 453 in Sorrento, sources told Inside Lake Sunday night.

Sources said a box truck hit a guardrail and the driver became entrapped and was pronounced dead on the scene just after 7: 45 p.m. Sunday. FHP, Lake County Fire Rescue and Mount Dora Fire Department all responded to the scene.

According to FHP’s website there is no roadblock in the area.

This is a breaking story.

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