Fruitland Park

5th Annual Lake County Back the Blue (and Red) Walk scheduled for Saturday; Firefighters added this year

TAVARES, Florida—For the fifth year in a row, law enforcement and supporters will join forces for the annual Lake County Back the Blue Walk at Wooton Park Saturday morning, and this year firefighters will join the fun. 

Scheduled for 9 a.m., this is one of many law enforcement events around Lake County held in May during Law Enforcement Appreciation Month and this year, Organizer Shannon Cook wanted to add firefighters to the appreciation walk to coincide with the Lake County Board of County Commissioners proclaiming May 4 “International Firefighters’ Day” in Lake County, she told Inside Lake.

“I figured what better day to honor our heroes in red,” Cook said.

The walk began in 2019 to show support for law enforcement during a time when the “defund the police” movement was making its way across the country, Cook said, representatives from several law enforcement agencies and numerous public officials are expected to be in attendance.

“The good ones needed to know they were appreciated,” Cook said.

Ryan Koester, son of fallen Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Wayne Koester, left, and Deputy Koester’s brother Vic, right, at the 2023 Back the Blue Walk PHOTO: Shannon Cook

Cook’s close friend, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Wayne Koester, was killed in the line of duty Feb. 9, 2005. Koester, who was 33 at the time, and two other deputies were ambushed while responding to a domestic violence call. All three deputies were shot, and Koester succumbed to his injuries; the other two deputies recovered. Jason Wheeler was shot and paralyzed during his capture and convicted in Koester’s death. Cook was also close to Chris Daniels, who was serving as Lake County Sheriff when he was tragically killed in a charity bus race in 2006, on his birthday.

Participants will meet at 9 a.m. at Wooton Park, 100 East Ruby Street, Tavares. The first stop will be the Lake County Administration Building, then a stop at the Tavares Public Safety Complex and the walk will end at Kalua Beach Bar with lunch, provided by owner Randy Connor; come a little early to enjoy donuts and coffee donated by Greg Wilmore of New Life Baptist Church Leesburg. 


5th Annual Lake County Back the Blue (and Red) Walk scheduled for Saturday; Firefighters added this year Read More »

Jacksonville man accused of stealing SUV from Fruitland Park business and fighting Tavares cops last week

TAVARES, Fla.—A Jacksonville man is being held in the Lake County Jail after being accused of stealing a vehicle from a business in Fruitland Park, fleeing from a Tavares Police Department officer and fighting that officer and another one last week.

Nigel Jaylen Sabb, 28, is accused of stealing a 2014 Ford Edge from Honest Autos, 2381 U.S. Highway 441, Fruitland Park around 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to a Fruitland Park Police Department arrest affidavit. A representative of the business told FPPD a customer dropped off the vehicle for some cosmetic repairs and left the keys in the exterior door lock and less than an hour later, Sabb walked onto the lot and stole the SUV.

The SUV, equipped with a GPS tracker, was traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 441 and FPPD alerted Tavares Police Department and Eustis Police Department it was headed their way. Just before 9:45 a.m. a TPD officer spotted the vehicle traveling southbound and he performed a U-turn to get a better look at the tag, according to a TPD arrest affidavit.

Sabb began driving recklessly, changing lanes multiple times, failing to yield to oncoming traffic and nearly causing several crashes. TPD attempted to pull Sabb over and he began to swerve across all southbound lanes while moving around in the vehicle.

The TPD officer then deactivated his lights and made a U-turn to show the driver he was not pursuing the SUV, the affidavit states. Sabb then swerved across all three southbound lanes, jumped a median, drove into oncoming traffic and hit a vehicle head-on, according to the affidavit.

The officer reactivated his lights, pulled up to the crash and exited with his gun drawn; Sabb exited the SUV through the front passenger door and fled on foot. He was wearing dark clothing and carrying an object believed to be a backpack. The officer holstered his firearm and drew his taser as he began to chase Sabb. He deployed the taser and it struck Sabb’s clothing but did not incapacitate him and he continued to run. TPD lost Sabb around 2100 Lake Eustis Drive and then spotted him again wearing different clothing and walking near Joy Lane in the Lake Point Mobile Home Park; the officer also noticed he was no longer carrying anything.

The officer began following Sabb as a second officer pulled up as backup. Sabb saw the officer’s patrol vehicle and began running and both officers began chasing him. The first officer took a different route in an attempt to cut Sabb off while the backup officer stayed on Sabb. The backup officer later got on the radio and “in a manner that was partial and unclear…advised that (Sabb) was fighting him. It was apparent (the officer) was involved in a struggle,” the TPD officer wrote in the affidavit.

The officer could not immediately find Sabb and the backup officer and could not reach him on the radio. He finally heard the pair scuffling and located them behind a home on Douglas Drive and saw the backup officer struggling to gain control of Sabb’s hands. The officers were able to get Sabb under control after another scuffle and the threat of being tased. He was medically cleared and transported to the Lake County Jail.

The backup officer later said Sabb either punched him or hit his head on something and took his radio off his vest, depriving him of means to communicate with other officers and dispatch and the officer sustained head injuries as a result of the fight, according to the affidavit. Sabb is facing numerous charges from TPD, including battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, two counts of resisting arrest without violence, depriving an officer of means of communication and reckless driving, in addition to grand theft auto and burglary from FPPD. He is being held on no bond.

Prior history

In June 2017, Sabb was arrested by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office after he pointed a loaded gun at a JSO officer who pulled him over while driving a stolen car. In 2018, he was arrested in St. Johns County for another 2017 crime, this one committed when he was just 20 years old. In that case, Sabb was accused of tying two men and a woman up during a Ponte Vedre Beach home invasion, forcing the woman to perform oral sex on him at gunpoint, ransacking the home, stealing cash and other belongings and stealing a car. DNA from the sexual battery connected Sabb to the crime. Sabb spent around a year in the St. Johns County Jail until the charges were dropped about month before the case was set to go to trial. It is unknown why the charges were dropped.

Jacksonville man accused of stealing SUV from Fruitland Park business and fighting Tavares cops last week Read More »

Argument Over Drill Led to Shooting Near Fruitland Park Friday

FRUITLAND PARK, Fla.—The man accused of shooting another man in unincorporated Fruitland Park Friday is now facing an attempted murder charge.

According to an arrest affidavit, Scott Hutcheson and Michael Robert Corkill, 39, got into an argument after Corkill grabbed Hutcheson’s drill while he was at a friend’s house working on a four-wheeler. Hutcheson told Corkill not to touch his things and Corkill reportedly said, “I’ve got something for your (expletive,)” and walked across the street to his home at 36751 Shadow Hill Drive, according to an arrest affidavit.

Corkill then stepped out of his home, stood in his driveway, pointed a black rifle at Hutcheson and shot him in the left forearm. He was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Corkhill retreated to his home and barricaded himself for nearly three hours until LCSO’s SWAT Team entered his home and took him into custody. He was transported to the Lake County Jail, where he is being held on no bond.

Previous stories: Deputies take Suspected Shooter into Custody after nearly 4 Hours – Inside Lake

BREAKING NEWS: Large Law Enforcement Presence Near Fruitland Park, Deputies Attempting to take Shooting Suspect into Custody – Inside Lake

Argument Over Drill Led to Shooting Near Fruitland Park Friday Read More »

Deputies take Suspected Shooter into Custody after nearly 4 Hours

FRUITLAND PARK, Fla.—A man suspected of shooting another man in unincorporated Fruitland Park Friday is in custody, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Lt. John Herrell.

Few details were released in the incident that began around 3 p.m. and ended nearly four hours later around 7 p.m. on Shadow Hill Drive near Fruitland Park. Herrell told Inside Lake the male suspect shot another man in the arm during an argument and refused to speak with deputies. The suspect, whose name has not been released, was transported to the Lake County Jail after being taken into custody; the victim was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.



Deputies take Suspected Shooter into Custody after nearly 4 Hours Read More »

BREAKING NEWS: Large Law Enforcement Presence Near Fruitland Park, Deputies Attempting to take Shooting Suspect into Custody

Update: Deputies take Suspected Shooter into Custody after nearly 4 Hours – Inside Lake


FRUITLAND PARK, Fla.—The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is working to take a suspect into custody who allegedly shot another man Friday afternoon, according to LCSO Lt. John Herrell.

LCSO released few details Friday afternoon but did tell Inside Lake the male suspect shot another man in the arm and deputies had not been able to contact the suspected shooter at press time. The incident began as an argument and the victim has non-life-threatening injuries, Herrell said.

Witnesses told Inside Lake there is a large law enforcement presence on Shadow Hill Drive in unincorporated Fruitland Park.

This is a developing story.

BREAKING NEWS: Large Law Enforcement Presence Near Fruitland Park, Deputies Attempting to take Shooting Suspect into Custody Read More »

Benefit for LCSO Deputy Diagnosed with Cancer Scheduled for Saturday

EUSTIS, Fla.—An event to benefit a Lake County Sheriff’s Office school resource deputy who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year is scheduled for Saturday.

What started as chest pain in 2022 turned into a terrifying diagnosis last summer for LCSO Cpl. Adam Tytler. In November 2022, Tytler went to a cardiologist for ongoing chest pain, and after a EKG showed his heart was in good shape, the cardiologist told him the pain was likely gastrointestinal. The next month, on Christmas Eve, Tytler discovered a swollen lymph node on his neck and by February the lymph node had not gotten any better. He was also suffering from a sinus infection at the time and went to his primary care doctor for treatment and mentioned the lymph node. The doctor chalked it up to the infection, but during the spring Tytler’s chest pain continued and had also moved to his back, and then he began to find swollen lymph nodes on his chest.

Tytler went through a battery of tests and upon reviewing the results, his doctor said it was likely cancer. Tytler sought a second opinion from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and his fears were confirmed when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma in June 2023.

Tytler, his wife Tiffany, and two daughters, Shay 17, Lily, 14, are currently splitting their time between Mount Dora and Tampa for treatment and it is taking a financial toll on the family while already dealing with an emotional roller coaster. Tytler said he came forward with his struggle because cancer affects millions of people and often they go through it alone.

“I would have given up if it weren’t for my faith, my family and the support from the school resource deputy unit,” Tytler said. “I only wanted for those who are struggling to know they are not alone. Not now. Not ever and to never give up.”

Tytler’s struggle inspired Shannon Cook, organizer of Lake County’s annual Back the Blue Walk, and LCSO Lt. Kristin Thompson to create the benefit scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at That Place, 925 North Bay Street, Eustis.

Dinners will be available for purchase, along with an auction of numerous items, including a Back the Blue basket with items from multiple Lake County law enforcement agencies, tickets to various events, like New Kids on the Block concert tickets and Richard Petty Driving Experience, along with a Yeti cooler packed with alcohol, various craft items made by local residents, a high-end fishing pole and numerous other items. A poker scramble is also scheduled to start at 9 a.m. at Gator Harley-Davidson, 1745 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg, and will include five stops, ending at That Place, Cook told Inside Lake.

Tytler has spent nearly his entire adult life at LCSO, and most recently worked as a corporal in the school resource deputy unit. He prevented a shooting on the Eustis High School campus during the 2018-2019 school year and was awarded the Lake County Officer of the Year in 2019 for his efforts.

He said he is excited he has only one treatment left, and it has been a difficult journey. “Truthfully, it’s been challenging and difficult treatment-wise, not just for me but my family also,” Tytler said.

He will have to wait until after the new year to find out if he is cancer-free, he said.

Tytler told Inside Lake saying thank you to all those who have helped him, and contributed to the benefit will never be enough.

“My family and I are so appreciative and overwhelmed of the outpouring of love and support from everyone. Especially from people I’ve never met,” he said.

For more information on the benefit, visit Corporal Adam Tytler Benefit.

Benefit for LCSO Deputy Diagnosed with Cancer Scheduled for Saturday Read More »

Fruitland Park Man Admits to Strangling his Dog and Cat

FRUITLAND Park, Fla.—A Fruitland Park man has been released from the Lake County Jail on bond after admitting to deputies he strangled his dog and cat, according to an arrest affidavit.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a home in Fruitland Park Thursday morning on a report of a man, later identified as William Victor Brown, 65, having “homicidal/suicidal tendencies.”

The complainant said Brown told her had strangled his black and white cat and black and brown Chihuahua Wednesday night and he wanted to kill himself with his gun, the affidavit states.

Deputies spoke with Brown, who admitted he strangled both animals and said he did it because he had nowhere to place them, they were both old and he could not find a place to euthanize them. He said he put the dog and cat in a black trash bag after he killed them.

An LCSO sergeant found the dog alive in a nearby dumpster and she was turned over to LCSO’s Animal Enforcement Unit, and according to Lake County Animal Shelter online records, the pup entered foster care Friday. The cat was not found and is presumed deceased.

Brown was arrested for death of an animal and attempted death of an animal. He was transported to LCJ, where he was released on $10,000 bond.

Fruitland Park Man Admits to Strangling his Dog and Cat Read More »

Multi-Agency Pursuit Reaches Speeds of 100+ MPH Overnight

MOUNT DORA, Florida—Two people are in the Lake County Jail following a tussle with Mount Dora Police Department and a multi-agency pursuit across Lake County Friday.

Shortly after midnight, MDPD responded to Perkins, 17080 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora on a report of a verbal argument. Officers found a black Ford F-150 with two occupants inside and identified the pair as Larissa Molina, 22 of Franklin, North Carolina and Adrian Delgado, 22, of Kissimmee. Officers ran the VIN of the truck and found it was possibly stolen out of Orange County, according to Delgado’s arrest affidavit.

Delgado apparently had a tire iron in his hands and MDPD tried to take him into custody; details in the affidavit are very limited and it is unclear when Delgado armed himself with the tire iron. Delgado tried to get away and kept “slipping out” of an MDPD’s officer’s grip and another officer tased Delgado, striking him in the back. Delgado then fled northbound toward U.S. Highway 441 on foot, the affidavit states.

He ran west toward the Walmart parking lot nearby and was finally apprehended in the parking lot of First National Bank at the corner of Eudora Road and U.S. Highway 441. Delgado reportedly said he was scared because he was homeless and kept asking about Molina, the affidavit states.

He was placed in the back of a patrol unit, where he vomited and was taken to AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares, where he was medically cleared and then transported to the Lake County Jail.

While Delgado was fleeing on foot, Molina fled in the stolen truck and MDPD attempted to stop her but was not successful. A Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputy was in the area of Perkins when he heard unintelligible radio traffic but “sounded in distress,” he noted in Molina’s arrest affidavit.

“I began responding to the call when I was informed a black F-150 had struck one of the officers in an attempt to get away and was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 441,” the deputy stated in the affidavit.

Molina, however, is not facing a charge of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, which would be standard if she struck the MDPD officer as she was fleeing.

The deputy spotted the truck at U.S. Highway 441 and Spring Harbor Boulevard and attempted to perform a traffic stop. Molina continued to flee northbound on U.S. Highway 441, making several U-turns, failed to yield to oncoming traffic and reached speeds over more than 100 miles per hour, the affidavit states.

Multiple agencies assisted including Eustis Police Department, Tavares Police Department and Fruitland Park Police Department; LCSO never lost sight of the truck as it traveled across the county. FPPD deployed stop sticks at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the truck struck them and continued to flee before coming to a final stop at Lagrande Boulevard and U.S. Highway 27 in The Villages. Molina was then taken into custody, according to the affidavit.

The pair is facing multiple charges; Molina was arrested for fleeing and eluding, no driver license, grand theft auto, resisting an officer without violence and loitering or prowling. She is being held on $14,000 bond. Delgado is facing charges of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, resisting an officer without violence, grand theft auto and loitering or prowling; he is being held on $13,500 bond.

Multi-Agency Pursuit Reaches Speeds of 100+ MPH Overnight Read More »

Law Enforcement Agencies Need Your Vote for K9 Grant

LAKE COUNTY, Florida—Several local law enforcement agencies are counting on the public to help them grow their K9 units with a grant from a national biohazard clean-up company.

Five agencies in Lake County are competing for a $2,500 grant that can be used for their K9 units, such as purchasing equipment and other needs for their pups. The grant will be provided by Aftermath Service LLC, a national company that provides biohazard clean-ups from incidents such as crime scenes and unattended deaths.

Eustis Police Department, Fruitland Park Police Department, Lady Lake Police Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Tavares Police Department are all competing for the cash for their K9S. TPD has not had a K9 officer in nearly 20 years, newly-appointed TPD Chief Sarah Coursey told Inside Lake.

“I saw a need in my community for this essential unit, which will better aid the officers in locating and removing dangerous narcotics from our city and tracking missing or endangered persons,” Coursey said.

Tavares Police Officer Zack Barclay will serve on TPD’s K9 Unit PHOTO: Tavares Police Department

 Most agencies have taken to social media to ask for the public’s help getting votes, and TPD has been posting to its popular Facebook page each day since voting began. TPD does not have dogs yet but has already chosen its two officers that will become handlers, Officer Ben Carter and Officer Zack Barclay and have posted their photos on Facebook in hopes of drawing in votes. A quick glance at the comments shows Barclay has been quite popular—especially with the ladies.

“Our Facebook page has always been an excellent source of information when solving crimes; the community has always stepped up to the plate with valuable information and now we are asking them to throw us a bone,” Coursey explained.

Members of the public can vote up to three times a day by visiting Aftermath Service LLC’s Facebook page at, its Instagram page  @AftermathK9Grant and its website at Voting ends Monday.

Law Enforcement Agencies Need Your Vote for K9 Grant Read More »

Dry Conditions Force Countywide Burn Ban

LAKE COUNTY, Florida—Lake County officials imposed a burn ban effective Friday that will last indefinitely, according to a press release.

The burn ban is in effect for all of Lake County and prohibits the burning of yard debris, land and recreational fires but does not include outdoor fireplaces, barbecue grills and barbecue pits that have a total fuel area of 3 feet or less and 2 feet or less in height.

Dry conditions forced the move by county officials and surrounding counties have enacted similar bans. For more than three weeks, the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) rating has exceeded 500 and the ban is necessary for public safety, the press release stated.

When the KDBI rating falls below 500 for seven consecutive days, the county will lift the ban.

Dry Conditions Force Countywide Burn Ban Read More »

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