On 03-30-16, the victim, 87-year-old Lynne Tresness, was walking back to his residence from his shed when he observed a white male in his yard near his back door. The male said that his mother’s car had broken down in the Croom Forest and asked Tresness for a ride. The male also asked Tresness for a drink of water.
Tresness took the male inside for a glass of water then the two left Tresness’ residence on Thackeray Street in Nobleton to head to the Croom Forest. Tresness was driving his 2003 gold Buick LeSabre; the male, who never provided a name, rode in the passenger seat.
Tresness told detectives when they were in the area of Nobleton Croom Road and Croom Rital Road, the male pulled out a knife and told Tresness “get out or I will kill you.” Tresness, in fear for his life, quickly got out of the vehicle. The male (suspect) moved into the driver’s seat and started to drive away. Tresness, alone in the middle of the forest, tried to stop the car as the male drove away, by grabbing onto the interior of the car. This action caused Tresness to be thrown to the ground. Tresness sustained injuries to his head, arms, and body, during the struggle.
Tresness believed he saw his stolen vehicle travelling south on Nobleton Croom Road, but he was not certain.
A citizen driving by found Tresness lying injured in the roadway. She called for Fire/Rescue. Tresness was transported to Bayfront Health Brooksville, where he was treated for his injuries. Tresness did not immediately recall what had happened to him.
While en route to Tresness’ residence to notify his wife of the incident, Deputy John Reagin located Tresness’ vehicle abandoned on Edgewater Drive, just north of Newaygo Drive. This location is only a short distance from where the suspect originally made contact with Tresness. Deputy Reagin was approached by a resident who advised that a male was seen running from the vehicle a little earlier.
Forensic Specialist Kinsey Boylan was called to process both scenes (the vehicle and evidence left inside the Tresness home) shortly after the crime occurred.
Within a 17 hour time frame, Biometric Unit Manager Haria Haught and Certified Examiner John Rees were able to identify the suspect as John Henry Summerall W/M DOB/04-12-1996. His last known address was listed as 28065 Freewalt Street (Lot #15) Istachatta.
The efforts of our Scientific Investigations Section led to a speedy recovery of evidence and the identification of the suspect.
Immediately, units began searching for Summerall.
Within approximately 30 hours of the time he committed the Armed Carjacking, he was placed under arrest by Hernando County deputies.
“Ironically, shortly after this crime took place, a couple members of my staff and I attended the first meeting of the newly formed Nobleton Crime Watch. I assured the members that we would work diligently to identify and capture the suspect. I set the expectations high. Once again, in my eyes and in the eyes of the community, my staff exceeded those expectations. I have many very dedicated and capable law enforcement professionals here at the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, who will continue to do their best to keep Hernando County safe,” said Sheriff Al Nienhuis.
Post Miranda, Summerall admitted to detectives that he asked the victim for a ride for the purpose of stealing his car.
Once in custody, Summerall stated he swallowed several pills, while being pursued on foot. He was transported to Bayfront Health Brooksville by Hernando County Fire/Rescue where he was treated and released.
Summerall was then transported to the Hernando County Detention Center, charged as follows:
John Henry Summerall W/M DOB/04-12-1996
– Armed Carjacking
– Bond – $30,000.