Inside Scoop

Umatilla Man Busted For Buying Vehicles With Bum Checks in 2021, Tries Again With Stolen Credit Card

CLERMONT, Florida— A man arrested last year for scamming two local automobile dealerships has been arrested again for attempting a similar scam.

Prestin S. Carroll, 20, of Umatilla was arrested on warrant issued by Clermont Police Department Wednesday after a man complained his credit card was used fraudulently to charge $2,500 towards the purchase of a new vehicle, at Napleton Clermont Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM , 15859 State Road 50, Clermont, according to a probable cause affidavit.

CPD investigated and found that Carroll, who was employed at the dealership as a detailer, was captured on video using the card to charge $2,000 and $500 in two separate transactions towards the purchase of a 2022 Jeep Compass, the affidavit states.

A warrant was issued for his arrest Tuesday, and he was booked into the Lake County Jail on one count of credit card fraud and one count of grand theft Wednesday and released on $4,000 bond.

2022 Jeep Compass PHOTO:

In April 2021, Carroll was arrested for two counts of grand theft auto and four counts of fraud stemming from scamming two dealerships in Eustis; he was unsuccessful in scamming two more. Eustis Police Department responded to Advantage Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, 18311 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora on a report Carroll had purchased a 2021 Jeep Wrangler with a check written for $48,940.35 four days earlier. The check was returned the next day for insufficient funds and the manager contacted the bank and found the account the check was written on had been closed.  The manager requested Carroll bring in a cashier’s check or return the Jeep by the end of the day and Carroll agreed, according to that probable cause affidavit.

Just a week later, on April 23, another EPD officer responded to Danny Len Buick GMC, 17605 U.S. Highway 441, also on a fraud complaint. An employee told EPD Carroll came to the dealership on April 17— the same day the Jeep was returned— and wrote a $5,000 check to hold a 2013 Ford F150. On April 19, Carroll returned to the dealership and finished paperwork and wrote a check for the remaining balance on the truck— $14,857.78. The checks were returned as unpaid four days later and the employee attempted to contact Carroll to no avail and then called police.

Carroll told police he “must have accidently written checks from the wrong account,” the affidavit states; he later returned the truck. Carroll also attempted to purchase a Ford F150 Platinum worth $74,000 from Prestige Ford, 17701 U.S. Highway 441, Eustis but was unsuccessful. Carroll was also unsuccessful at Phillips Buick GMC, 2160 U.S. 441/27, Fruitland Park.

Carroll’s criminal history showed a prior arrest in Winter Haven and EPD contacted Winter Haven Police Department and found that Carroll had purchased a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro from a dealership in Winter Haven, with a worthless check in the amount of $28,379.59 The report in that case mentioned a similar case in Pasco County and EPD contacted Pasco County Sheriff’s office and found that Carroll had purchased a 2020 Toyota Tacoma from a dealership there and then traded it in on a 2021 Jeep Rubicon. He is alleged to have written two checks for those vehicles totaling nearly $75,000.

In the 2021 Lake County cases, Carroll agreed to a pre-trial intervention (PTI) program, according to Lake County Clerk of Court online records. One of Carroll’s requirements is, “The defendant agrees to refrain from any violations of law.” It is unclear how Carroll’s new charges will affect his prior cases.

Man Accused Of Stalking Neighbor More Than A Month After Being Served With Injunction

LEESBURG, Florida—A man is in the Lake County Jail facing a charge of aggravated stalking after being accused of harassing and antagonizing his neighbor more than a month after he was served with an injunction.

Matthew Lenord Dailey, 61, is accused of doing a host of things to his neighbor since Dailey was served with an injunction on Dec. 6, including placing a sign in his yard that stated “28 feet” with an arrow pointing toward the measurement, according to an arrest affidavit.

The victim told Lake County Sheriff’s deputies Dailey follows him up and down the fence line that separates their property in the Bassville Park area, “whistling and attempting to antagonize him.”

On Saturday, Dailey was revving his engine in his van and blaring his music for 45 minutes as the victim spoke with an elderly couple in his driveway, the victim told LCSO. He said Dailey plays his music “extremely loud” every night and shines his flashlight to cause problems, in addition to standing at the fence line and photographing the victim’s wife when he hears her come outside.

The victim said Dailey cut down shrubs so he could watch the victim and the victim installed a privacy fence, but Dailey stands on things to peer over the fence.  LCSO spoke with Dailey and observed multiple spotlights and loud music coming from his home. Daily was taken into custody and arrested for aggravated stalking. He is being held in the Lake County Jail on $10,000 bond. 

Teenager Shot In Drive-By At Eustis Park

EUSTIS, Florida—A 17-year-old male was rushed to the hospital after getting shot in the face at Sunset Island Park Saturday, according to Eustis Police Department.  

Multiple people were at the park when an unknown vehicle drove by and fired off shots shortly before 6 p.m. at the park, located at 409 West Ward Avenue. The park features a basketball court, playground equipment, grills picnic tables and a skate park.

“It looks like they were having some kind of party,” EPD Chief Craig Capri said.

The teen, whose name has not been released, was out of surgery and in stable condition at press time, Capri told Inside Lake. He was rushed to the hospital by partygoers before EPD arrived and detectives have not interviewed him yet. Inside Lake was on scene and spotted a young woman carrying a gift bag and a grocery bag in the windy, bitter cold about a block from the area cordoned off by crime scene tape.

PHOTO: City of Eustis

“I have zero tolerance for gun violence,” Capri said Saturday night. “Anytime there is a shooting in the city, it’s all hands on deck, detectives and officers.”

Multiple marked and unamrked units were at the scene and Capri said they collected “really good physical evidence.”

The investigation is still in the early stages and Capri is asking anyone with information on the shooting to call EPD at 352-357-4121.

NFL Player Flees Fruitland Park Police, Attempts To Pump Gas In Tavares Police Car, Taken To Hospital For Erratic Behavior

TAVARES, Florida—A Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end was arrested in Tavares early Sunday morning after fleeing Fruitland Park Police.

Lerentee’ Zavonne McCray, 31, fled from FPPD when an officer attempted to pull him over for speeding, according to an arrest affidavit. An officer spotted a white Dodge Ram traveling on County Road 25 at a “high rate of speed” and utilized her radar to find the truck was going 88 mph. The officer attempted to stop the Ram at C.R. 25 and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard by activating her lights and sirens and the driver, later identified as McCray, put his left arm out of the window and flipped his middle finger at the officer, according to the affidavit.

The officer began to chase McCray and an FPPD sergeant joined in, reaching speeds up to 100 mph, the affidavit states. McCray was driving in “an extremely reckless manner,” swerving across all three southbound lanes of traffic and FPPD terminated the stop.

About 15 minutes later, McCray pulled into 7-Eleven at the corner of U.S. Highway 441 and Banning Beach Road in Tavares. Officers from Tavares Police Department were arresting an individual for drug possession following a traffic stop and were being assisted by a sergeant from Astatula Police Department, according to a TPD report.


McCray, who appeared to know the APD sergeant, gave him a fist bump and then retrieved his wallet. McCray then walked over to a TPD officer’s car, opened the fuel door and walked over to the pump attempting to buy some gas, according to the report. The officer told McCray that was not necessary and closed the fuel door. McCray opened the door again and inserted the fuel nozzle into the patrol car. The officer attempted to take the nozzle from McCray, and he forcefully grabbed the officer’s wrist, and the officer pushed him back, the report states.

McCray then went to the back of his truck and removed a child’s bicycle and placed it on the hood of the truck and began “talking in circles.” McCray then laid on the ground as if he wanted to be handcuffed, the officer noted in the report.

McCray was handcuffed due to his erratic behavior and was not making sense when he spoke. The TPD officer allowed McCray to lean on his knee as they spoke, and McCray fell asleep. Officer called Lake EMS to the scene and as McCray was placed on a stretcher, FPPD informed TPD they had charges for McCray due to him fleeing the earlier traffic stop.

McCray was transported to AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares, where he was arrested by FPPD after he was medically cleared. TPD conducted an inventory of McCray’s truck and found a small bag of marijuana and a Benelli SuperNova shotgun.

McCray is facing a charge of fleeing and eluding he was released from the Lake County Jail on $5,000 bond.  McCray played for the University of Florida from 2008 to 2012 and has been a Jacksonville Jaguar since 2017.  

Another Teenager Arrested For Another Shooting at Leesburg’s Berry Park, Police Still Searching For Possible Suspect

LEESBURG, Florida—A 17-year-old boy is facing charges after police say he opened fire at a busy park earlier this month.

Theodore L. McNealy Jr. was arrested Sunday after he was identified by several witnesses following a shooting at Berry Park less than two weeks ago.

According to a probable cause affidavit, a group of black males on foot approached a group of black males in a red Chevy Impala at the entrance to Berry Park, 2121 Johns Avenue, Leesburg shortly before 4 p.m. Jan. 8. The group on foot brandished pistols and began firing at the car, the affidavit states.

PHOTO: Leesburg Recreation Department

The males in the vehicle returned fire and numerous gunshots were exchanged. There were several families in the park and a local organization was holding a fundraiser at the time of the shooting, LPD Lt. Scott Mack said. Witnesses identified McNealy as the person who initiated the gun fight, the affidavit states.

A warrant was issued Jan. 11 and the teenager was arrested Monday for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a minor.

This is the second teenager arrested for a shooting at the popular park in less than two months. Zamarion Z. Johnson, 17, was arrested in December for 34 felonies stemming from a shooting at the park on Nov. 28. In that incident, a physical altercation turned to gunfire and Johnson stands accused of shooting at a vehicle while dozens of people, including children, were at the park.

“The Leesburg Police Department is still actively investigating this (latest) incident and attempting to identify a possible second shooter in the incident,” Mack said. If you have information, call LPD’s Criminal Investigations Division at 352-728-9862 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS. 

Neighbor Accused Of Shooting, Killing Dog Because It was In His Trash

GROVELAND, Florida—A man is facing a charge of aggravated animal cruelty after allegedly shooting and killing his neighbor’s dog.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a home on Sandcastle Drive in unincorporated Groveland around 10 a.m.  Jan. 10, according to an arrest affidavit. When they arrived, they found a couple covered in blood who told them their dog had been shot by the neighbor. The man left to take the dog to the emergency vet and the woman told LCSO she walked out to call her dogs and heard a single gunshot.

She observed her older dog limping and noticed it was unable to get through the fence. She told her husband she believed the neighbor shot the dog and when they went to question the neighbor, they found Curtis Aaron Jones, 58, who lives with their neighbor, according to the arrest affidavit. When questioned if he shot the dog, Jones allegedly admitted it and said he shot the dog because it was in his garbage can. The woman told Jones she was going to call law enforcement and when they arrived, they spoke with Jones.

He said he saw two dogs in his trash, yelled and grabbed his shotgun. He told LCSO he did not mean to hurt the dog, he just wanted to shoot next to it and scare it. Deputies spoke to the emergency vet, who said the numerous pellet holes in the dog were consistent with someone shooting directly at the dog, not to miss or scare the dog, the affidavit states. X-rays showed the dog suffered more than 80 pellet wounds from the bird shot and died less than two hours after arriving at the vet.

Jones admitted the dogs were not posing a threat to him at the time he fired the weapon. He was arrested for aggravated animal cruelty and is being held at the Lake County Jail in $5,000 bond. 

Leesburg Murder Suspect Arrested In Ohio

LEESBURG, Florida—A second suspect sought in the murder of a Leesburg man last year has been arrested, according to Leesburg Police Department.

Jeron Lee Johnson, 32, was arrested Friday by local authorities and U.S. Marshals in Ohio, LPD Lt. Scott Mack said in a press release; Johnson is currently awaiting extradition back to Lake County, Mack said.

On Aug. 4, 2021, LPD responded to a report of a shooting victim in the 1000 block of West Line Street, shortly before midnight and found Michael Pettis, 34, dead. Police searched the area for suspects but did not find anyone, LPD Capt. Joe Iozzi said in August.

After an investigation, LPD obtained warrants for two suspects, in November, Johnson and Sonja Isadieu-Johnson, 36. It is unclear if the pair are related.  Isadieu-Johnson was located in Virginia Beach, Virginia and Virginia Beach Police Department’s SWAT team secured a search warrant on her residence and took her into custody on Nov. 3, 2021.

Lots Of Changes For Eustis PD Under Direction Of New Chief

EUSTIS, Florida—It has been 9 months since Craig Capri became the chief of Eustis Police Department. And in those 9 months, the department has seen an numerous changes, including the promotions of nearly 22 percent of its sworn officers.

Quite a change from a department that under its last chief, Gary Calhoun, saw a tremendous amount of turnover and had six open positions when Calhoun left the office in 2021.

EPD is a small department with only 41 sworn law enforcement positions, including Capri. There are just two open positions with the recent swearing-in of two new officers earlier this month, Capri told Inside Lake.

Capri, who spent 31 years at Daytona Beach Police Department, brought big ideas with him from the much bigger department; DBPD has 241 sworn positions, compared to EPD’s 41. Since taking over the reins, Capri has encouraged his officers to become much more community oriented with the creation of the downtown officer position and he has hosted several events to engage the community.

“The police department is the most visible form of government,” Capri explained, “We’re involved in everything. People associate police with the city.”

EPD Chief Craig Capri speaks with a resident at Pizza with the Police, held at El Marie Pizzeria in August 2021. PHOTO/Inside Lake

The downtown officer position was created to target and prevent crime in the downtown area, especially the business district, Capri said. The downtown area has a large homeless population and Capri believes that is at least partially due to The Open Door, a homeless drop-in program provided by LifeStream located at 115 East Citrus Avenue, “We’ve had to clean it up,” he said.

“It’s a cool program, but the location doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t need to be downtown in the business district,” Capri told IL.

Capri believes some of the homeless people downtown are truly in need, some are contributing to the criminal element, and some may have mental health issues. In partnership with LifeStream and paid for by a grant, EPD with soon have a mental health counselor on staff to respond to calls with road patrol officers if needed.

“One of the things I want to do is address mental health,” Capri said. One of the first things he did as chief was send all his officers to Volusia County Sheriff’s Office for ICAT (Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics) training. Two EPD officers have now been trained in ICAT, so they can train newly hired officers, Capri said.

EPD officers speak with residents at Pizza with the Police, held at El Marie Pizzeria in August 2021. PHOTO/Inside Lake

Capri has hosted a bicycle ride for elementary age children, coffee with a cop, pizza with the police and most recently, shop with a cop in the short time he has been in Eustis. To continue with keeping his officers approachable, six bicycles will be available to road patrol officers to spend all or part of their shift on the bike, Capri said. He is an avid cyclist himself and participates in in Tour De Force 9/11 Memorial Bike Ride each year.

Newly promoted Cpl. Zach Steele is pinned by his father at a promotion ceremony held at City Hall earlier this month. PHOTO: Inside/Lake

A new unit will hit the streets soon to target problem areas in the city. The POP unit—Problem Oriented Policing—will target areas dealing with a large numbers of car burglaries, drug activity or any other problems residents bring to the attention of EPD. The unit will be led by a newly promoted corporal who will supervise three officers to combat issues that arise in the city.

Along with that corporal, Capri has also promoted two other officers to corporal, four corporals to sergeant, one sergeant to captain and one interim captain to a permanent captain position. EPD does not have a deputy chief.  

Motorcyclist Dies After He Loses Control, Strikes Sign, Lands In Ditch

EUSTIS, Florida—A motorcyclist is dead following a crash shortly before sundown Saturday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

A 69-year-old man from Missouri was riding a motorcycle southbound on State Road 19 at 5:33 p.m. when he attempted to turn right to travel west on County Road 19A, near Dam Smoker. He lost control, struck a sign and overturned in a ditch, FHP Lt. Kim Montes said in a press release. The man was ejected and transported to AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares, where he was pronounced dead.

It is unknown if the man was wearing a helmet, Montes said.

Tavares Woman Injured In Crash That Killed Apopka Motorcyclist

ORANGE COUNTY, Florida—A Tavares woman received minor injuries in a crash that killed a motorcyclist from Apopka Saturday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

A 19-year-old Apopka woman was northbound in a sedan on Orange Blossom Trail at Jones Avenue in the Zellwood area around 8:45 p.m. Saturday. A 51-year-old man, also of Apopka, was riding a motorcycle southbound on Orange Blossom Trail and a Tavares woman, 59, in a sedan was stopped on Jones Avenue at the intersection of Orange Blossom Trail, FHP Lt. Kim Montes said in a press release.

The Apopka woman attempted to make a left turn on to Jones Avenue and turned into the path of the motorcycle. The motorcycle struck the side of the Apopka woman’s sedan and the sedan struck the car the Tavares woman was driving. The motorcyclist, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead on the scene.

The Apopka woman and the Tavares woman sustained minor injuries and the crash remains under investigation.

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