Sorrento

Bicyclist Dies from Injuries Months After Sorrento Hit-and-Run Crash

SORRENTO, Florida—A Sorrento bicyclist has died from injuries he sustained in a hit-and-run crash in July, the Florida Highway Patrol confirmed to Inside Lake.

Only Inside Lake reported on the crash that seriously injured Richard “Rick” McPhee, 59, of Sorrento around 5:45 a.m. July 26. McPhee was riding a bicycle eastbound on Wolf Branch Road approaching Stone Meadow Court on his way to work when a vehicle, possibly a 2014 -2018 Kia Soul, struck McPhee from behind, according to FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi.

 

McPhee’s bicycle had proper lighting and he was wearing a reflective vest.

Richard “Rick” McPhee’s bicycle following a hit-and-run crash. Photo courtesy of John Conley

The impact threw McPhee to the south shoulder of the road and the unknown vehicle fled eastbound down Wolf Branch Road. McPhee was transported to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford with serious injuries. He died Oct. 26, Trooper Migdalisis Garcia told Inside Lake.

“The Trooper investigating this crash found a car part on-scene for a vehicle that could possibly be involved in this crash. The car part was a piece of the front headlight assembly from possibly a white in color vehicle,” Crescenzi said in an email. “The evidence is consistent with a Kia Soul between the years of 2014 – 2018.  The suspect vehicle should have damage to the front right.”

John Conley spoke with Inside Lake Wednesday night and said McPhee was his dad’s friend “for as long as he could remember.”

“He was a good friend and my coworker for many years. He looked forward to his yearly trip to Maine, where he would spend a week at his brother (Lee’s) home vacationing. Rick also enjoyed going mudding with his other brother Lance and his son at Hogwaller Mud Bog,” Conley said.

McPhee leaves behind two children, a daughter, Amanda, who is expecting his first grandchild, and a son, RT.

Richard “Rick” McPhee, right, and his brother Lee. McPhee always looked forward to his annual trip to his brother’s house in Maine,” longtime friend John Conley said. Photo courtesy of John Conley

“Hopeful that someone knows something or that the person turns themselves in so everyone can get some closure. It’s just an awful thing to do,” Conley said. “Rick was a good guy; he didn’t deserve to be left for dead on the side of the road.”

FHP is asking anyone with information on the crash, including body shops or mechanics that may have worked on the vehicle involved, to contact them at 407-737-2213 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.  

Two angles of the same vehicle part that was found on the scene where Richard “Rick” McPhee was hit on his bicycle in July. PHOTOS: Florida Highway Patrol

Bicyclist Dies from Injuries Months After Sorrento Hit-and-Run Crash Read More »

Connecticut Crash Claims the Lives of 2 Sorrento Women and Virginia Man, 3 Children Hospitalized

WETHERSFIELD, Conn.—A Connecticut crash claimed the lives of two Sorrento women and a Virginia man Sunday and sent three Sorrento children to the hospital, according to the Connecticut State Police (CSP.)

Shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday, Kory Watson, 40, of Hillsville, Va., was driving a 2003 Lincoln Aviator on Interstate 91 South when he veered into the right lane for an unknown reason and collided with the rear of a tractor-trailer parked on the right shoulder near Exit 25.

Watson, and one of his passengers, Lacey Marie Price, 32, of Sorrento, were pronounced deceased on the scene. Passenger Rebecca Marie Schutte, 36, was transported to Hartford Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries and three children, all of Sorrento, were transported to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center with “suspected minor injuries,” according to CSP. The relationship between the women and the children was not released. The tractor-trailer driver, Kiran Johns, 26, of Fairless Hills, Pa., was not injured.

The crash closed Interstate 91 South for several hours Sunday and remains under investigation.

Connecticut Crash Claims the Lives of 2 Sorrento Women and Virginia Man, 3 Children Hospitalized Read More »

Bulletproof Vest, Explosive Devices, Guns and Drugs Found During Search Warrant, Suspect Now Facing Federal Charges

SORRENTO, Fla.—Only Inside Lake reported on a search warrant that was executed on a home connected to David Flores Thursday afternoon and now the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has revealed what was found.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives (ATF,) and LCSO’s SWAT Team, Hazardous Device Team (bomb squad,) detectives and crime scene investigators searched the home located at 31624 Orange Street, Sorrento Thursday afternoon and into the early evening hours.

“During the search, detectives located firearms, a ballistic vest, fentanyl, and other drugs. The vest that was collected matches the description of the one the victim claimed Flores had in his possession on Sunday. Two improvised explosive devices were also located and collected by ATF, who will be adding additional federal charges to Flores. The two devices were very similar to those collected at the Eustis home on Wednesday,” LCSO Lt. John Herrell said in an email.

 

 

Flores was arrested early Wednesday morning after fleeing deputies at the home on Orange Street. LCSO K9 Ex apprehended and bit Flores on a nearby property, and he was taken into custody and booked into the Lake County Jail, where he is being held on no bond.

Flores is now facing federal charges, in addition to the litany of state charges he is facing stemming from an incident on Bates Avenue in Eustis Sunday afternoon. One other person was arrested during the search warrant for violation of a domestic no-contact order after he was found at the home with his alleged victim, Herrell told Inside Lake.

Previous stories: Large Law Enforcement Presence at Home Where Wanted Man Found in Sorrento Earlier this Week – Inside Lake

VIDEO: LCSO K9 Takes a Bite Out of Crime and Apprehends Suspect Wanted Since Sunday – Inside Lake

Captured: Man who was Subject of Extensive Search in Eustis Sunday Night Taken into Custody – Inside Lake

After Extensive Search Sunday Night in Eustis, Wanted Suspect Still on the Lam – Inside Lake

LCSO and EPD Search for “Possibly Armed” and “Dangerous” Suspect – Inside Lake

 

Bulletproof Vest, Explosive Devices, Guns and Drugs Found During Search Warrant, Suspect Now Facing Federal Charges Read More »

Large Law Enforcement Presence at Home Where Wanted Man Found in Sorrento Earlier this Week

SORRENTO, Fla.— Numerous law enforcement officers were at the home Thursday night where a wanted man was apprehended earlier this week conducting a “follow-up investigation”, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Lt. John Herrell told Inside Lake.

Multiple sources reached out to Inside Lake Thursday evening and said law enforcement officers from multiple agencies were at the home at 31624 Orange Street in Sorrento, including LCSO and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office around 6:30 p.m. This is the same home David Flores, 37, fled from early Wednesday morning after being on the run from deputies for more than two days.

Courtesy photo

Flores was apprehended by K9 Ex on a nearby property, was treated for his injuries and transported to the Lake County Jail. Neighbors told Inside Lake the residence is a “known drug house,” and law enforcement officers could be heard announcing a search warrant. Several people could be seen in front of the home handcuffed. They said, along with LCSO and OCSO, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was on scene.  Inside Lake was unable to confirm with LCSO if a search warrant was being served at the Orange Street home, and unable to confirm if ATF was on scene, but LCSO stated in a social media post Wednesday they were investigating an allegation Flores had explosives at the home on Bates Avenue in Eustis where the original crimes Flores was wanted for occurred.

Law enforcement officers can be seen here at a home on Orange Street in Sorrento. COURTESY VIDEO

 

Flores is now facing additional charges, including armed sexual battery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, battery by strangulation, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and petit theft. He continues to held in LCJ on no bond.

Previous stories: VIDEO: LCSO K9 Takes a Bite Out of Crime and Apprehends Suspect Wanted Since Sunday – Inside Lake

Captured: Man who was Subject of Extensive Search in Eustis Sunday Night Taken into Custody – Inside Lake

After Extensive Search Sunday Night in Eustis, Wanted Suspect Still on the Lam – Inside Lake

LCSO and EPD Search for “Possibly Armed” and “Dangerous” Suspect – Inside Lake

Large Law Enforcement Presence at Home Where Wanted Man Found in Sorrento Earlier this Week Read More »

VIDEO: LCSO K9 Takes a Bite Out of Crime and Apprehends Suspect Wanted Since Sunday

SORRENTO, Fla.—A tip to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the apprehension of the man who was the subject of an extensive search in Eustis Sunday night.

LCSO responded to a home on Orange Street in Sorrento just after midnight Wednesday and began searching the property for David Flores, 37, and he fled on foot, LCSO Lt. John Herrell said.

“A sheriff’s K-9 located him shortly thereafter hiding in a hole where it appeared trees had been cleared,” Herrell said in an email.

K9 Ex bit Flores and he was treated for minor injuries and later transported to the Lake County Jail. He was served a warrant revoking his bond for prior grand theft and criminal mischief charges and is facing a new charge of resisting arrest for fleeing deputies before he was apprehended early Wednesday. LCSO body cam video shows Flores getting bit and screaming.

LCSO body cam shows the apprehension of wanted suspect David Flores. 

 

Additional charges are likely, Herrell said.

Flores is  suspected of committing an aggravated assault that occurred in the county portion of Bates Avenue around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, deputies and Eustis Police Department officers searched for Flores for more than five hours by ground and by air Sunday night, causing concern for residents in the area. The victim of the aggravated assault told LCSO Flores was armed and in possession of a bulletproof vest, Herrell told Inside Lake Monday. Flores fled into a wooded area and slipped the perimeter set up by law enforcement.

K9 Ex PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

 

Previous stories: Captured: Man who was Subject of Extensive Search in Eustis Sunday Night Taken into Custody – Inside Lake

After Extensive Search Sunday Night in Eustis, Wanted Suspect Still on the Lam – Inside Lake

LCSO and EPD Search for “Possibly Armed” and “Dangerous” Suspect – Inside Lake

 

VIDEO: LCSO K9 Takes a Bite Out of Crime and Apprehends Suspect Wanted Since Sunday Read More »

Crash Shuts Down SR 44 in Pine Lakes Area Wednesday Morning

PINE LAKES, Fla.—State Road 44 is shut down in both directions in the Pine Lakes area as the Florida Highway Patrol investigates a crash, according to FHP.

The crash occurred shortly before 8:30 a.m. near the intersection of State Road 44 and Spruce Drive, and near a Circle K and a Dollar General.  Inside Lake reached out to FHP for details and was awaiting a response at press time.

This is a developing story.

MAP: Florida Highway Patrol

Crash Shuts Down SR 44 in Pine Lakes Area Wednesday Morning Read More »

Head-On Collision Kills Umatilla Man, Shuts Down SR 46 Friday

SORRENTO, Fla.—The Florida Highway Patrol is on scene of a crash that killed a Umatilla man and shut down State Road 46 in both directions.

The preliminary investigation revealed a 2009 Hyundai Sonata being driven by a 42-year-old Umatilla man was traveling westbound on State Road 46 near Wekiva Pines Boulevard around 5:40 p.m. when he veered into the eastbound lane and collided with 2022 Ford E-350 being driven by a 49-year-old Deltona man, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said.

The Umatilla man was transported to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford, where he was pronounced deceased. The Deltona man and his passenger, a 14-year-old male, were also transported to HCA Lake Monroe Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash shut down State Road 46 between County Road 46A and Osprey Hammock Trail and it was still shut down at press time.

Head-On Collision Kills Umatilla Man, Shuts Down SR 46 Friday Read More »

FHP Seeking Information on Hit-and-Run Crash that Seriously Injured Sorrento Bicyclist Wednesday Morning

SORRENTO, Florida—The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a hit-and-run crash involving a bicyclist before daybreak Wednesday.

A 59-year-old man of Sorrento was riding a bicycle with proper lighting eastbound on Wolf Branch Road approaching County Road 437 on the south edge of the road, possibly around 4:45 a.m. Wednesday, when he was struck by an unknown vehicle, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi told Inside Lake.

The vehicle fled the scene and troopers found small debris that may belong to a white vehicle but were unable to determine the make or model of the vehicle. The bicyclist was transported to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford with serious injuries and remains in stable condition, Crescenzi said. There were no known witnesses to the crash and troopers are asking anyone with information to contact Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.

FHP Seeking Information on Hit-and-Run Crash that Seriously Injured Sorrento Bicyclist Wednesday Morning Read More »

Man Admits Shooting Neighbor’s Dogs, Killing 1, Held on $150K Bond

An earlier version of this story misidentified the deceased dog due to an error in the arrest affidavit. The dog’s name is Mary.

SORRENTO, Florida—A Sorrento man is in the Lake County Jail after he admitted shooting his neighbor’s dogs Saturday night, killing 13-year-old Mary, according to an arrest affidavit.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Holopaw Trail in Sorrento shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday after the victim reported her neighbor, Sheldon Keith Hayward, 65, had shot her dogs, killing one of them. The woman told LCSO she let the dogs out in her backyard and did not realize her gate was open. The dogs apparently escaped through the open gate and when her daughter went to look for the pups, she found one of the dogs, Mary, dead, about 5 feet from the road. The victim said the dogs were not aggressive.

The victim’s daughter said when she exited the house, she heard a gunshot but did not realize at first Hayward had shot her dogs. She walked toward the road and found Manny the dog dead from a gunshot wound to the head and a second dog, Miller, also shot near the road. When the victim and her husband went to retrieve Miller, Hayward pointed a gun at them, according to the affidavit. The victim’s husband was unable to speak to deputies because he was at the animal hospital with Miller.

LCSO walked over to Hayward’s home to interview him and found a pool of blood “within seven steps from the road,” and walked another 15 to 20 yards to Hayward’s gate. He stepped out of his home and told deputies a group of aggressive dogs came over to his home and one of the dogs jumped on his fence but did not growl or bark at him. Hayward said he grabbed a shovel to attempt to scare the dogs, but they did not leave, and he grabbed his recently purchased rifle and shot at the dogs approximately five times. He told deputies he was within his fence when he shot the dogs.

Hayward was arrested for two counts of animal cruelty and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was transported to LCJ, where he is being held on $150,000 bond.

Man Admits Shooting Neighbor’s Dogs, Killing 1, Held on $150K Bond Read More »

Sorrento Man Facing Multiple Charges After Shooting, Killing Man Friday Night

SORRENTO, Florida—A Sorrento man is facing a manslaughter charge and an aggravated battery charge after shooting a man and killing him Friday night, according to an arrest affidavit.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Quaker Ridge Avenue on a report of a person being shot, and when they arrived, they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. He was transported to AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares where he succumbed to his injury and was pronounced deceased. The victim’s name is redacted from the affidavit.

The investigation revealed Wallace Mannin Kirkland, 59, had shot the man once in the chest with a semi-automatic pistol and based on several interviews, LCSO found that Kirkland and the victim had multiple verbal altercations in the past, the affidavit states.

Wallace Kirkland PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

Prior to the shooting, Kirkland, his wife and a neighbor were standing on the side of Quaker Ridge Avenue when the victim drove by in a Can-Am Side-by-Side and Kirkland threw a beer can over the side-by-side as it drove past. The victim got out of the vehicle, approached Kirkland, and said something similar to “I’m going to kill you,” the affidavit states. Witnesses told LCSO they did not see a weapon in the victim’s hand, and he was outnumbered due to the neighbor standing with Kirkland. The victim was also smaller than Kirkland, whose booking sheet lists him at 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing 250 pounds.

When the victim got within 3 to 4 feet of the victim, witnesses heard a gunshot and then the victim said he could not believe Kirkland shot him, according to the affidavit. The victim returned to the side-by-side, drove a short distance and appeared to pass out. LCSO obtained a search warrant and found a gun with one spent casing in the chamber.

Kirkland was arrested for manslaughter and aggravated battery with a firearm and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he was released on $40,000 bond.

Sorrento Man Facing Multiple Charges After Shooting, Killing Man Friday Night Read More »

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