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.

Paisley Man Killed on I4 in Hillsborough County Saturday Night

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla.—A pedestrian from Paisley was killed Saturday night when he was struck by minivan on Interstate 4, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

A Toyota Sienna, being driven by a 59-year-old Sarasota man, was traveling westbound on I4 near McIntosh Road, just after 8:15 p.m. when the Paisley man, 24, walked across the highway and into the path of the minivan for an unknown reason, FHP Sgt. Steve Gaskins said. “As a result, the vehicle struck the pedestrian, who suffered fatal injuries at the scene of the crash,” Gaskins said in an email.

Former Lake County Firefighter Found Guilty of Sexually Abusing Young Boy

TAVARES, Florida—A jury has found a former Lake County firefighter guilty of sexually battering and molesting a young boy 15 years ago.

Steven Trent Ellis, 52, of Umatilla was arrested in July 2019 by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after a tip and subsequent search warrant revealed multiple images of child pornography on his computer. Following his arrest, “several” individuals came forward and reported he had sexually abused them, according to a probable cause affidavit.

FDLE met with a victim in 2019 who said he had been abused by Ellis four to five times in 2008 when he was under 12 years old; his exact age is redacted from the affidavit. The boy and his family reported the abuse to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in 2008 and the case remained open for more than 10 years pending further corroborating evidence.

Steven Ellis is seen here in his 2019 mugshot.

The statements the victim made in his original complaint in 2008 were consistent with statements he made in 2019; he told agents what Ellis did to him in great detail and said it happened at the home Ellis lived in on Fishermans Road in Paisley at the time.

In October 2019, Ellis was charged with sexual battery on a child under 12 and lewd or lascivious molestation, in addition to the child pornography charges. In 2020, he pleaded no contest to the child pornography charges and was sentenced to 15 years in prison in April 2021, and on Monday, Ellis stood trial for two counts of sexual battery on a child under 12 and one count of lewd or lascivious molestation. He was found guilty by a jury on all three counts and sentenced to life in prison.

Paisley Man Arrested for Trafficking Fentanyl after K9 Onyx Sniffs Out the Deadly Drug During Traffic Stop

DeLAND, Florida—A failure to use a turning signal and following too closely led to the arrest of a Paisley man after he was found with a brick of fentanyl under the hood of the truck he was driving in the DeLand area of Lake County Tuesday night, according to an arrest affidavit.

A deputy with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office spotted a white Ford pickup truck tailgating a car near the River Forest Campground around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday shortly after another deputy saw the truck turn on County Road 42 from State Road 44 without using a turning signal. Deputies pulled the truck over on Third Street and the driver, Drew Thomas Daly, 29, of Paisley immediately exited the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Drew Daly PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

Although Daly consented to a search of the truck, deputies utilized LCSO K9 Onyx and his handler to conduct a free air sniff of the truck and the pup alerted to the odor of narcotics, the affidavit states. A search of the truck revealed black shopping bag under the hood between the fender and the blower motor. In the bag, deputies found a zip top plastic bag that contained a “brown brick” substance that field-tested positive for fentanyl and Daly was taken into custody. He was searched and found with a smaller bag fentanyl in his left, front pocket.

The total weight of the deadly drug was 144 grams, according to the affidavit. Trafficking in more than 28 grams of fentanyl carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Daly was transported to the Lake County Jail, where he is being held on $100,000 bond.

Motorcyclist Killed in Head-On Crash, Paisley Woman Airlifted Thursday

PAISLEY, Florida—A Daytona Beach man was killed Thursday afternoon when the motorcycle he was riding drifted into oncoming traffic and struck a car head-on, seriously injuring a Paisley woman, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The 72-year-old man was riding a 2007 Harley-Davidson eastbound on County Road 42 west of 4th Street when he entered the westbound lane and struck a 2017 Hyundai Veloster being driven by a 23-year-old woman shortly before 2 p.m. The impact caused the Hyundai to run off the road and strike several trees, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said in a press release.

The motorcycle rider was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver of the Hyundai was airlifted to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford in serious but stable condition, Crescenzi said. County Road 42 was still blocked at press time and the crash remains under investigation.

Couple Killed in Umatilla Rollover Crash

UMATILLA, Florida—A married couple was found deceased Saturday morning after crashing their car and being found by the owner of the property where they crashed, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Marquis Timmerman, 24, of Paisley, was driving a blue Chevy Malibu north on County Road 439 near Live Oak Ranch Road in unincorporated Umatilla, when she lost control and traveled onto the east shoulder, FHP Lt. Channing Taylor said in a press release.

The Malibu collided with a drainage ditch and several trees before becoming airborne, overturning coming to a final rest in the wooded area on the east shoulder of the roadway. Marquis Timmerman was ejected, and her husband, Randy Timmerman, 45, also of Paisley, was entrapped in the car, Taylor said. The couple suffered fatal injuries on the scene. Numerous social media posts identified the couple as Marquis and Randy Timmerman and Taylor confirmed their identities to Inside Lake.

FHP believes the crash occurred overnight and was discovered by the property owner around 8:30 a.m. Saturday.    

Pedestrian Succumbs to Injuries Following Crash in Paisley Friday Morning

PAISLEY, Florida—A Paisley woman was killed after she stepped into the path of a car on County Road 42 in Paisley Friday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The 42-year-old woman was crossing County Road 42 at the intersection of Crooked Mile Road, near Dollar General, when she was struck by 2001 beige Toyota Camry being driven by a 38-year-old Paisley man around 6:45 a.m. She was not in a crosswalk. She was flown to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford where she succumbed to her injuries, FHP Lt. Channing Taylor said in a press release.

The Toyota driver and his passenger, a 39-year-old Paisley woman, were not injured. The crash closed County Road 42 for several hours and remains under investigation, Taylor said.

Man Out of Jail Just 2 Days, Goes Right Back on Same Charge

PAISLEY, Florida—A man just released from jail Wednesday after a domestic battery charge was dropped, went straight back to jail Friday after being accused of domestic battery again, and possession of methamphetamine.

James Cecil Smith, 37, of Paisley, was arrested Nov. 7 after he was accused of battering a woman during an argument about infidelity on Nov. 6, according to that arrest affidavit. The woman told Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies Smith, also known as “Nasty Cracker,” put his right forearm across her neck and attempted to cover her mouth when she yelled, the affidavit states.

James “Nasty Cracker” Smith’s forearm tattoos. PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

The victim was able to grab her phone and hit the emergency call button and summon help. Smith was located the following day at the home on Hibiscus Avenue in Paisley and arrest for domestic battery. Smith was transported to the Lake County Jail, where he remained until Wednesday when the charge was dropped, according to Lake County Clerk of Court online records.

On Friday, LCSO responded to the same home on Hibiscus Avenue if reference to an open 9-1-1 line, and a female heard saying someone was trying to attack her and steal her curling iron, according to a second arrest affidavit. Due to redaction, it is unclear if the same female was the victim in both cases.

The victim told deputies Smith tried to take her phone from her hand while she was sleeping and squeezed her hand very hard. Smith was spotted on a bicycle near the home as deputies were leaving and he was taken into custody for domestic battery. Upon searching Smith, he was found with a bag of methamphetamine, the affidavit states.

Smith was transported to LCJ, where he is being held on $4,000 bond.

Rumor Leads to Restaurant Employee Getting Busted with Gun in his Pocket at Work

EUSTIS, Florida—A rumor that an employee was carrying a weapon at work turned out to be true after Eustis Police found a gun in his right pocket Saturday afternoon, according to an arrest affidavit.

A manager at Sonny’s 15800 U.S. Highway 441, Eustis told EPD he heard rumors Zachary Steven Rose, 21, of Paisley, was carrying weapon after drug deal went bad, according to the arrest affidavit. The manager said Rose was going to be written up for a prior incident but felt unsafe and wanted officers to check him for a weapon.

EPD went to the kitchen at the restaurant and asked Rose if he had a weapon and he confirmed he did and officers located the loaded .380 Ruger in his right pocket, and he was secured in handcuffs. Rose does not have a concealed weapons permit. Officers also found a THC vape pen. Rose told officers he had the gun for protection, and he has never sold drugs at work, the affidavit states. Rose said he bought the gun from “someone” and it was not reported stolen.

Rose was arrested for carrying a concealed firearm and possession of THC oil. He was transported to the Lake County Jail where he is being held on no bond due to a recommit from a previous charge.

In March, Rose was arrested by EPD for possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia after the vehicle he was riding in was stopped for not having a license plate. K9 Mya found 13.1 grams of meth and Rose admitted it was his, according to that arrest affidavit. That case is still pending.

Social Media Sleuth Identifies Suspected Thief

MOUNT DORA, Florida—A man captured on video stealing nearing $500 worth of items from a home improvement store couldn’t escape being identified by a social media sleuth on a Mount Dora Police Department Facebook post earlier this month.

On July 21, MDPD posted an “attempt to identify” on its Facebook page of two men accused of stealing tools from Lowe’s, 18795 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora on June 3. According to the post, a man with a long red beard was captured on video selecting a drill valued at $219 and tool set valued at $239, placing it into his cart and exiting the store without paying on June 3. He was accompanied by another man, but it is unclear if that man has been identified.

PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

According to a probable cause affidavit, the man was identified as Terry Wayne Cowart, 44, of Paisley, by a person who commented on the department’s Facebook post. MDPD officers provided a photo lineup to the store’s manager, and she identified Cowart as the culprit.

A warrant for retail theft was issued for Cowart’s arrest Monday and he was picked up in Paisley early Friday morning. Cowart was transported to the Lake County Jail, where his is being held on $2,000 bond.

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