MEDIA RELEASE 09-17-2018

Deputies Resolve Barricaded Subject Situation Peacefully

On 09-14-18 at just before 8 p.m., Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the area of Long Hill Court in Spring Hill regarding a disturbance.

Upon arrival, deputies spoke to the victim, Joshua Swisher, who advised that he was assisting his brother Joseph, in delivering medication. Joseph works for a pharmacy in New Port Richey, and the brothers were delivering medication to patient’s homes.

When the pair arrived at an address on Long Hill Court in Spring Hill with a delivery, Joshua waited in the vehicle while Joseph went to the door with the medication.

Moments later, a male, later identified as James Richard Newcome, approached the driver’s side of Joshua’s vehicle asking Joshua what he was doing and why he was there. Newcome then reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a handgun. While Newcome did not point the handgun at Joshua, he did say that he was licensed to carry it and was protecting the neighbor’s property. Newcome then reached into Joshua’s vehicle and took Joshua’s cell phone that was sitting in his lap.

Newcome put the gun back in his pocket then walked to the front door of the residence where the medication delivery was being made. Newcome spoke to his neighbor briefly and gave him Joshua’s cell phone, so he could return it to Joshua. Newcome then went back to Joshua’s vehicle, again producing the handgun, again asking why he was there. Newcome then returned to his own residence.

Fearful of the gentleman brandishing a weapon, when Joseph returned to the vehicle with the cell phone, Joshua contacted the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

When deputies arrived on scene, Newsome was very uncooperative and retreated into his residence, refusing to exit. Newsome’s wife, Umaima Newcome was also inside the residence. Umaima Newcome was also uncooperative with law enforcement, and refused to exit the residence.

During the investigation, James Newcome continually called 9-1-1, advising operators that he would “take care of this in the morning” and insisted that deputies leave his property. James Newcome continually stated that he was not going to come out of the residence and that he and his wife were tired of people looking into their windows.

The SWAT and CRT teams were activated.

After several hours of attempting to get James and Umaima Newcome to exit the residence, the Hernando County Sheriff’s SWAT team deployed tear gas into the residence. Both James and Umaima exited the residence and were taken into custody. Both refused to cooperate with the investigation. The Newcomes were charged as follows:

• James Richard Newcome W/M DOB/08-16-1961
o Burglary of a Vehicle w/Firearm
o Resist Arrest w/o Violence
o False 9-1-1 Call
o Bond – $27,000.

• Umaima Jeevanjee Newcome W/F DOB/03-01-1973
o Resist Arrest w/o Violence
o Bond – $1,000.

MEDIA RELEASE from Hernando County Government September 12, 2018

Pine Island Beach swimming advisory lifted

(Brooksville, FL) The Florida Department of Health in Hernando County announces that the swimming advisory has been lifted at Pine Island Beach, located at 10840 Pine Island Drive in Weeki Wachee.

Learn more about beach water quality at

http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/index.html

MEDIA RELEASE – Deputy Injured During Traffic Stop

On today’s date at approximately 3:27 p.m., Deputy Tonya Shutt conducted a Traffic Stop on a grey GMC Sierra on McKethan Road, south of Cortez Boulevard, almost to the Pasco County Line.

Deputy Shutt approached the vehicle, on the driver’s side, to speak with the driver and obtain a driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Almost immediately, at 3:28 p.m., the driver began to flee from the stop, dragging Deputy Shutt for a short time/short distance.

Deputy Shutt advised over the radio that the driver fled, southbound toward Pasco County, that she had been dragged by the suspect vehicle, and was in need of medical attention. Backup units and Fire Rescue were dispatched immediately.

With assistance from the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, the vehicle and driver were located moments later at a location in Pasco County.

Deputy Shutt, 48, was transported to a local hospital with injuries that are considered non-life-threatening.

The driver, identified as Melissa Lloyd W/F DOB/09-10-1970 was placed under arrest in Pasco County. Lloyd is charged as follows:

• Fleeing to Elude
• Aggravated Battery on a LEO
• Resisting Arrest w/Violence
• Felony DWLSR.

MEDIA RELEASE From Hernando County Government

Animal Services seeks rightful owners before releasing pets for adoption
(Brooksville, FL) Hernando County Animal Services (HCAS) urges those who were using the We Care for Paws Foundation to board, foster or otherwise care for their animals to immediately contact their office at (352) 796-5062 or email ac@hernandocounty.us to claim their pets.

The We Care for Paws Foundation, located at 4320 Neff Lake Rd. in Brooksville, was providing temporary care for dogs and cats in at-risk situations. On June 13, 2018, 56 dogs and 23 cats were seized by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office because the foundation did not meet code as it pertains to the care and welfare of the animals.

Animal Services is making every effort to return the animals to their rightful owners, but incomplete record keeping by the foundation has made it difficult to contact them. Animals with known pet owners that we have been unable to reach will be held until June 27, 2018; after that they will become available for adoption, rescue, etc. Animals with no known owners will be processed for adoption and rescue as soon as possible.

The animals continue to be cared for by Florida State Animal Response Coalition volunteers at an undisclosed location off-site from HCAS. Gift cards are requested for volunteers to purchase food and personal supplies while they provide this much needed service for our community. Contact HCAS at (352) 796-5062 if you wish to donate.

# # #

Vice and Narcotics Search Warrant – 10490 Maderia Street

On 06-06-18, members from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Unit and Hernando County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team executed a search warrant at 10490 Maderia Street in Spring Hill.

A search warrant was executed previously at this residence on 04/18/2018 for the same type of activity.

Investigation revealed that the resident, Nelson Lugo, was involved in the sale of cocaine.

During the search of the residence, detectives located the following:

• 13.9 grams of Marijuana that was packaged to sell
• Multiple items of paraphernalia
• $33 in US currency

Nelson Lugo was taken into custody by detectives and charged as follows:

Nelson Lugo H/M DOB/04-24-1969

• Hernando County Warrant for possession and sale of cocaine
• Possession of marijuana with intent to sell
• Possession of paraphernalia

The sheriff’s office conducted an investigation on Nelson Lugo at the beginning of 2018, which also resulted in a search warrant being executed.

Lugo was able to bond out on the original charges and began selling narcotics again a couple days later. This led the detectives to the search warrant today.

Missing Juvenile – Melaina Lee Hardy

Date: May 15, 2018

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office is requesting assistance from our media partners and the community in locating a MISSING JUVENILE.

Melaina Lee Hardy has been missing since 05-02-18. Melaina is believed to have ties to Spring Hill, Brooksville and St. Petersburg.

Melaina has no known health concerns.

Melaina’s physical description is as follows:
Black Female
Date of Birth – 01-04-2001
Height – 5’3”
Weight – 165 lbs.
Hair – Brown
Eyes – Brown
Last seen wearing – Off-white “peek-a-boo” shirt, black leggings and a rose gold/white pearl necklace.

If you have seen Melaina Lee Hardy, or know her current whereabouts, please call the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office at 352-754-6830 or your local law enforcement agency.

Thank you.

Internet Sales Safe Zones

In an effort to make online transactions safer for both buyers and sellers, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office allows citizens to use its lobbies and parking lot to complete sales setup through online sites such as eBay and Craigslist.

The goal of creating these “Safe Zones” is to deter crimes from occurring during such transactions.

Law enforcement agencies in Florida as well as other states have set up similar “Safe Zones” in an effort to make in-person transactions more secure.

Citizens are encouraged to utilize the Sheriff’s Office lobby in Brooksville, 18900 Cortez Blvd. between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The lobby in Spring Hill, 7499 Forest Oaks Blvd., may be used between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If transactions need to be completed outside of normal business hours citizens may use the parking lot in Brooksville, which is well-lit and under 24-hour video surveillance.

If you plan to use the lobby we ask that you check in at the front desk prior to completing your transaction.

MEDIA RELEASE 05-08-18

HAZMAT Response to the Hernando County Detention Center

On 05-08-18 at approximately 4:15 p.m., an inmate at the Hernando County Detention Center notified Detention Deputies that he felt extremely ill. The inmate was immediately transferred to the medical unit within the detention center for evaluation and treatment.

The inmate, who has been incarcerated in the facility for 22 days, admitted to deputies and nursing staff that he had just finished smoking an illegal narcotic.

Once the inmate was removed from his cell, detention deputies began to check for contraband.

Inside the cell, a detention deputy located two suspicious items (contraband) and began collecting the items. While collecting the items, the detention deputy also began feeling ill.

Detention Center staff requested Hernando County Fire Rescue respond to the scene to evaluate and treat the deputy and to examine the substance that was located in the cell.

All inmates were immediately removed from the housing unit and the HVAC system shut down. Once all inmates were removed, all staff remained clear of the area.

The detention deputy, who was already starting to feel much better, was transported to the hospital by Hernando County Fire Rescue.

The inmate, still in the medical unit, was also feeling much better. He told the staff that he received the substance from another inmate.

The investigation continues into how the contraband was introduced into the Detention Center.

Presumptive testing by the Hernando County HAZMAT Team indicated that the substance is an illegal narcotic. The substance will be sent to FDLE for additional testing.

Charges are forthcoming, pending the outcome of the investigation.