Umatilla

Information finally released following search warrants executed on gaming facilities earlier this month

LAKE COUNTY, Fla.—Only Inside Lake was on the scene earlier this month as Lake County Sheriff’s Office detectives, in conjunction with the Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC) searched an internet gaming facility in unincorporated Umatilla, and LCSO has finally released information regarding that search warrant and three more.

On June 13, 2024, four search warrants were executed at different illegal gaming establishments in Lake County. Detectives with the Leesburg, Clermont, Eustis, and Mount Dora police departments also assisted with the investigation that stemmed from continued concerns that illegal gambling throughout Lake County leads to an increase in law enforcement calls for service, criminal activity, and other threats to public safety, LCSO spokesperson Chanel Martin said.

The Umatilla location was the site of an attempted armed robbery in August 2022; in that a incident a security guard was shot. No arrests have been made in that case.

“Illegal gambling establishments operate outside the legal, regulated market to exploit vulnerable Floridians. They are usually associated with organized crime, do not generate state tax revenue, and do not provide the same consumer protections or safeguards as legal gaming operators,” said Lou Trombetta, FGCC Executive Director.

Detectives seized approximately 170 gaming machines and approximately $211,000 from the Hot Spot,11145 U.S HWY 441, Tavares; Hot Spot, 11203 U.S. HWY 441, Tavares. Cyber Monkey. 23505 State Road 40, Astor and Hot Spot II, 37415 SR 19, Umatilla, according to Martin.

Detectives seized all illegal gaming devices and issued misdemeanor notices to appear in lieu of physical arrests to six operating employees. The citations were issued with reference to Florida State Statue 849.01, which states it is illegal to keep or maintain a gambling house.

Previous stories: Law enforcement investigating internet gaming facilities in unincorporated Umatilla and Tavares – Inside Lake

LCSO Searching for 2 Suspects After Security Guard was Shot in Attempted Robbery Wednesday Night – Inside Lake

Information finally released following search warrants executed on gaming facilities earlier this month Read More »

Law enforcement investigating internet gaming facilities in unincorporated Umatilla and Tavares

LAKE COUNTY, Fla.—There is a large law enforcement presence at two internet gaming facilities, one in unincorporated Umatilla and one in unincorporated Tavares, Thursday morning and Inside Lake is working to find out why.

Inside Lake received multiple tips and was on the scene at Hotspot, 37415 State Road 19, Umatilla, briefly and witnessed several marked units from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at the business around 9:30 a.m. A tipster also said there was a law enforcement presence at another Hotspot, located at 11203 U.S. Highway 441, Tavares, near County Road 473.

“We’re working an investigation regarding those gaming establishments, the details of which will be released at a later date,” LCSO Lt. John Herrell told Inside Lake.

Law enforcement investigating internet gaming facilities in unincorporated Umatilla and Tavares Read More »

FHP identifies Umatilla man killed in Astor early Wednesday

ASTOR, Fla.—The Florida Highway Patrol has identified the man killed in Astor early Wednesday morning.

Robert Sangster Jr., 26, of Umatilla, was standing in the westbound lane of State Road 40, near Blue Creek Lodge Road shortly after 4 a.m. when he was struck by a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee being driven by a 58-year-old Polk City woman. The woman swerved to avoid Sangster Jr., but the right side of the SUV collided with him. He was pronounced deceased on the scene. The woman was not injured and remained on scene, FHP said.

The crash closed State Road 40 for approximately five hours.

FHP identifies Umatilla man killed in Astor early Wednesday Read More »

Umatilla man killed in Astor early Wednesday morning; SR 40 shut down

Update: FHP identifies Umatilla man killed in Astor early Wednesday – Inside Lake

ASTOR, Fla.—A 26-year-old Umatilla man was killed Wednesday after he was struck by an SUV on State Road 40 in Astor, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The Umatilla man was standing in the westbound lane of State Road 40 shortly after 4 a.m. when he was struck by 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee being driven by a 58-year-old Polk City woman.

The woman swerved to avoid the man, but the right side of the SUV struck him, killing him. His next of kin has not been notified. The Polk City woman was not injured and remained on scene, FHP said.

State Road 40 west of Blue Creek Lodge Road remained shut down in both directions at press time while troopers conduct their investigation.

Umatilla man killed in Astor early Wednesday morning; SR 40 shut down Read More »

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 »

Eustis Rollover Crash Sends 2 to Area Hospitals

EUSTIS, Fla.—A rollover crash sent one person to the hospital by helicopter and another by ground Tuesday morning, according to Eustis Police Department.

Wilbert McMillian, 66, of Eustis, was driving a 1998 Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck westbound on East Barnes Avenue when he attempted to turn southbound on Bay Street, shortly before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

 

McMillian failed to yield to traffic traveling southbound on Bay Street and rear-ended a 2010 Chevrolet Equinox being driven by Brittany Weatherspoon, 30, of Umatilla. The impact caused the Equinox to strike the median and rollover three times before landing on its roof. Weatherspoon was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center, and her passenger, a 4-year-old boy, was transported to AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares by Lake EMS. Their conditions were unknown at press time.

The crash occurred just minutes before school zone lights and speed limits were activated in that area.

Eustis Rollover Crash Sends 2 to Area Hospitals Read More »

Umatilla Man Stole City Truck Because he was “Bored,” Reached Speeds Over 100 mph, Apprehended by Volusia Sheriff’s K9

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla.—A Umatilla man was arrested Thursday after stealing a pickup truck from the City of Umatilla and heading into Volusia County at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, according to the Volusia Sheriff’s Office.

Just before 3:45 p.m. VSO received a call from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office advising a truck stolen from the City of Umatilla was headed into Volusia County. About 20 minutes later the truck was spotted on West New York Avenue, also known as State Road 44, near the Lake County line, according to an arrest affidavit.

The driver, Eblair Sylvain, 18, apparently saw law enforcement officers and began driving the truck over 100 miles per hour, passing multiple vehicles, going in and out of the ditch area on the side of the road and almost causing several head-on collisions.

Body cam footage of the apprehension of Eblair Sylvain, 18, who is accused of stealing a truck from the City of Umatilla and reaching speeds of more than 100 mph in Volusia County Thursday. VIDEO: Volusia Sheriff’s Office

A VSO deputy deployed stop sticks and struck two passenger side tires and Sylvain continued driving about a half a mile before bailing out, armed with a gun. He fled into a wooded area, dropped the gun and VSO deployed a K9 that apprehended Sylvain a short time later, the affidavit states.

The gun, which had an altered serial number, was found on the scene and Sylvain reportedly told VSO he stole the truck because he was “bored,” and claimed he found the gun under the seat of the truck.

Sylvain was arrested for grand theft of a motor vehicle, grand theft of a firearm, resisting arrest without violence and reckless driving. He was also issued a traffic citation for improper lane change, according to the affidavit.

He was transported to the Volusia Branch Jail, where he is being held on $17,000 bond.

Umatilla Man Stole City Truck Because he was “Bored,” Reached Speeds Over 100 mph, Apprehended by Volusia Sheriff’s K9 Read More »

Umatilla Man Killed in Early Morning Crash Identified

EUSTIS, Fla.—The Florida Highway Patrol has confirmed the identity of the man killed after he crashed into a tree Saturday morning.

Tyler Evans, 27, of Umatilla, was driving a 2016 Nissan Versa northbound on County Road 439 near Dairy Road in unincorporated Eustis when he lost control, left the roadway and struck a tree around 5:15 a.m., FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said.

Evans was transported to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford, where he was pronounced deceased. He was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

According to a gofundme created to benefit Evans’ family, Tyler loved music and spent many years playing drums in his church youth group. He also loved planes and was taking flying lessons. He grew up in Lake County with his sister Bria, and his parents, Jeremy and Amy also grew up in Lake County.

“Tyler will be missed by many,” the gofundme states.

At press time, the fundraiser had raised $6,050 of its $15,000 goal, to donate visit In Loving Memory of Tyler Evans.

Umatilla Man Killed in Early Morning Crash Identified Read More »

Umatilla Man Killed after Losing Control of Car and Crashing into a Tree

EUSTIS, Fla.—A Umatilla man was killed before daylight Saturday morning after losing control of his car and striking a tree, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The 27-year-old man was driving a 2016 Nissan Versa north on County Road 439 near Dairy Road, in unicorporated Eustis, shortly before 5:15 a.m. when he lost control for an unknown reason, left the roadway and struck a tree, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said. The man was transported to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford, where he was pronounced deceased.

The crash closed County Road 439 for more than five hours and remains under investigation, Crescenzi said.

Umatilla Man Killed after Losing Control of Car and Crashing into a Tree Read More »

Former Umatilla High School Cheerleader Arrested in 2019 Murder-for-Hire Plot Accused of Stealing from Gas Station Job

UMATILLA, Fla.—A woman who was arrested when she was a teenager for trying to have her parents killed has been arrested again—this time for stealing from her job and it was captured on camera, according to an arrest affidavit.

Alyssa Hatcher, 21, was arrested Monday by Umatilla Police Department after the manager of Circle K, 391 North Central Ave., Umatilla, reported Hatcher, an employee, was captured on video surveillance multiple times taking money out of the register and slipping it into her sock, instead of putting it in a safe. Hatcher was also captured on video walking into an office and appearing to conceal cash in her purse, the affidavit states.

Hatcher tried to cover up her misdeeds by using a “lottery buyout button” that accounts for money paid out in lottery winnings, the arresting officer noted in the affidavit.

Hatcher was arrested for grand theft, less than $5,000, and transported to the Lake County Jail, where she was released on $2,000 bond.

In 2019, Hatcher was arrested for stealing money from her parents to have them killed. A witness came forward and told a Lake County Sheriff’s Office school resource deputy Hatcher had given her friend “a lot of money” to kill her parents and Hatcher later admitted to an LCSO detective she stole the money and wanted to have her parents killed. The case quickly gained international attention and was the subject of a Dr. Phil episode. Hatcher later pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal solicitation to commit murder, two counts of grand theft, and one count each of petit theft and fraudulent use of a credit card. She was sanctioned as a juvenile and sentenced to a maximum-risk program with the Department of Juvenile Justice, the most severe sanction in the juvenile system, 5th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office Public Information Officer Brittney Carman told Inside Lake Wednesday.

Previous stories:

Lake Juvenile’s Plot to Kill Parents Foiled

 

Tomorrow’s Broadcast: Dr. Phil Features Lake County’s ‘Murder-For-Hire Plot’ Cheerleader

Former Umatilla High School Cheerleader Arrested in 2019 Murder-for-Hire Plot Accused of Stealing from Gas Station Job Read More »

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