Fruitland Park

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

9-Month Investigation Uncovers Conspiracy to Smuggle Drugs into Jail, 3 Arrested, Including Siblings

TAVARES, Florida—The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has arrested three people and is looking for a fourth person, it says conspired to smuggle drugs into the Lake County Detention Center, better known as the Lake County Jail or LCJ.

LCSO announced Friday it arrested Victoria Morrison, 24, of Lady Lake, Robert Morrison, 28, of Leesburg, and Anthony Arnold, 37, of Fruitland Park and a warrant has been issued for the arrest Patrick White, 40, of Okahumpka, according to a press release. Victoria Morrison and Robert Morrison are brother and sister, LCSO Lt. Fred Jones told Inside Lake.

According to LCSO, Victoria Morrison attempted to “introduce” fentanyl, methamphetamine and suboxone into LCJ with the help of her boyfriend, Tevaughn Johnson, who was locked up in the Marion County Jail. While cooperating with her brother, who was incarcerated at LCJ and two other inmates, Arnold and White, Victoria Morrison attempted to smuggle the drugs in, but they were intercepted by detectives before they entered the jail, the press release states.

For the next nine months, detectives investigated and intercepted contraband before it made its way into the jail. The probable cause affidavits are sealed and no other information is being released at this time.

Victoria Morrison was serving felony probation when she was arrested Thursday for trafficking in methamphetamine more than 28 grams, conspiracy to traffick in methamphetamine more than 28 grams, possession of suboxone with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a school and conspiracy to introduce contraband into a detention facility. Due to the probation violation, she is being held on no bond. Her boyfriend, Tevaughn Johnson, 29, was moved from the Marion County Jail to federal custody on a firearms violation and no charges were filed yet in this case; LCSO has forwarded the information to the U.S. Marshals.

Arnold, who was arrested last year for strangling and raping a woman, is scheduled to go to trial next month, and Victoria Morrison’s brother, Robert, who has been held in the Lake County since June 2022 on a tampering with evidence charge and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, are each facing additional charges of conspiracy to possess contraband in a detention facility and unlawful use of a two-way communication device and are being held on no bond. White, who was released from LCJ in December 2022, is wanted for the same charges.

Fruitland Park First Friday Market Set to Begin this Week

FRUITLAND PARK, Florida—A new, daytime monthly market is set to begin this Friday in Fruitland Park.

Orange Blossom Market Co. has partnered with the City of Fruitland Park to create the Fruitland Park First Friday Market. The market is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Friday of each month at Fruitland Park City Hall, 506 West Berckman Street and will run through May, taking a break during the sweltering summer months and kicking back off in September, Orange Blossom Market Co. Founder and Organizer Sheena Willis told Inside Lake.

“The market will be a place where locals can come together with small businesses from within their community to purchase fresh foods and unique finds in an atmosphere where guests will look forward to attending again,” Willis said.

More than 30 vendors will be on site with produce, handmade wares, baked goods and food trucks. Some of the vendors include Bite Out Of Hunger, specializing in dips and salsas, Sugar Valley Farms with its full line of maple products and Lady T Lemonade with its specialty fruit-infused lemonades.

Vendor spots are closed for the inaugural market this Friday, but Willis is accepting applications for the April market, she said. If you are interested in becoming a vendor at future Fruitland Park First Friday Markets, visit, Fruitland Park First Friday April application.

FHP: Suspect Fleeing Lady Lake Police Crashes Into SUV, Sends Woman, 2 Teens to the Hospital

FRUITLAND PARK, Florida—The Florida Highway Patrol has released information on the crash that killed a suspect and sent three people to the hospital Saturday afternoon.

A 35-year-old Orlando man driving a black Hyundai Elantra fled Lady Lake Police Department just after 4 p.m. Saturday and “due to its recklessness and speeds Lady Lake PD lost sight of (the car,) FHP Lt. Channing Taylor said.

The Hyundai continued to drive recklessly and began driving southbound in the northbound lanes of U.S. Highway 27/441 near 466A in Fruitland Park. The Hyundai struck a silver Kia Sportage being driven by a 43-year-old woman of The Villages. The driver of the Hyundai was pronounced dead at the scene and the woman was seriously injured. Her passengers, two teen girls, aged 13 and 14, also of The Villages, received minor injuries. All three were transported to area hospitals, Taylor said.

FHP was requested to assist in the crash investigation approximately two and a half hours after the crash.

Fruitland Park Police Chief Erik Luce released a statement on the crash late Saturday night.

FPPD was notified that LLPD was pursuing a vehicle into the city limits of Fruitland Park after a LLPD officer stated on the radio a suspect attempted to use their vehicle to run into an officer, Luce said in a press release.

The officer was investigating a theft at Home Depot, 871 U.S. Highway 27, Lady Lake when the incident occurred.

The suspect fled down U.S. Highway 27/441, crossed the center median and began driving southbound in the northbound lanes at an estimated 110 miles per hour. A Fruitland Park Police officer spotted the fleeing car and activated emergency lights but was unable to catch up to the vehicle, Luce said.

The incident remains under investigation.

Suspect Flees Lady Lake Police Wrong Way Down U.S. 27, Crashes into Vehicle, Suspect Dead, 3 Airlifted

Suspect Flees Lady Lake Police Wrong Way Down U.S. 27, Crashes into Vehicle, Suspect Dead, 3 Airlifted

FRUITLAND Park, Florida—A theft suspect is dead after fleeing from Lady Lake Police Department Saturday afternoon, crashing into an unsuspecting vehicle and sending three people to the hospital, according to Fruitland Park Police Chief Erik Luce.  

 FPPD was notified that Lady Lake Police Department was pursuing a vehicle into the city limits of Fruitland Park after a LLPD officer stated on the radio a suspect attempted to use their vehicle to run into an officer, Luce said in a press release.

The officer was investigating a theft at Home Depot, 871 U.S. Highway 27, Lady Lake when the incident occurred.

The suspect fled down U.S. Highway 27, crossed the center median and began driving southbound in the northbound lanes of U.S. Highway 27 at an estimated 110 miles per hour. A Fruitland Park Police officer spotted the fleeing car and activated emergency lights but was unable to catch up to the vehicle, Luce said.

The vehicle then struck another vehicle that was traveling in the proper direction; the suspect was pronounced dead on the scene and three occupants in the other vehicle were airlifted to local hospitals with serious injuries.

The Florida Highway Patrol is assisting FPPD with the crash investigation. According to FHP Lt. Channing Taylor, the deceased suspect was driving a black Hyundai and struck a Kia occupied by the three crash victims. No names have been released by either agency.

The crash closed U.S. Highway 27 for the rest of the afternoon Saturday and most of the night.

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.

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