Arrest Made – Spring Hill Man Sought for Dragging Dog Down Roadway

On today’s date, Gregory Tousignant accepted a plea deal of 270 days in the Hernando County Detention Center for the listed crime of Animal Neglect.

The last information received from the veterinarian caring for Ollie was that Ollie was well on his way to a full recovery and was thoroughly enjoying all of his visitors and gifts.

Update #1 – 05-09-19

On 05-08-19 just after 9 p.m., deputies conducting proactive patrols in the area of Commercial Way and the Outback Steakhouse observed a vehicle believed to be the one described in the BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for the animal cruelty incident (arrest warrant).

Deputy Vincent Spallino conducted a Traffic Stop on the green Ford F-150 at Frontage Road just off Commercial Way in front of the Microtel. The driver of the F-150 was identified as Gregory Tousignant.

Spallino requested Tousignant’s driver’s license. Tousignant told Spallino he had only an ID card, as his license was not valid.

Deputy Spallino placed Tousignant under arrest for the active warrant and for DWLSR (Driving While License Suspended/Revoked with Knowledge). His bond was set at $1,500.

At this time, there is no additional information available.

Original Information – 05-08-19

On 05-03-19 at 9:28 a.m., 911 dispatchers started to receive calls reporting a dog was being dragged behind a truck that was traveling down Northcliffe Boulevard in Spring Hill.

Witnesses indicated the dog was tied to the truck’s back bumper by a piece of rope that was attached to the dog’s collar.

The dog, a 1-year-old pit bull terrier mix, was able to free itself from the collar.

A witness at the scene tended to the injured dog and proceeded to take the dog for additional treatment. The dog is expected to make a full recovery.

While a suspect wasn’t immediately identified, through investigation, deputies were finally able to identify the dog’s owner as Gregory Tousignant W/M DOB/07-02-1960.

Witnesses said it appears Tousignant was unaware the dog had jumped out of the bed of his truck. It is illegal to carry any pet in the bed of truck that is not properly secured and prevented from jumping out of the moving vehicle.

On 05-08-19, County Judge Kristie Ruppe issued a warrant for Tousignant’s arrest on a misdemeanor charge of Cruelty to Animals, which carries a $1,000 bond.

As Tousignant is a transient, anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 352-754-6830.

Mass Casualty Training Exercise Announcement

Hernando County’s First Responders, in cooperation with the Hernando County School District and the Hernando County Department of Health will be participating in a mass casualty training exercise, on Monday, June 3, 2019, at Springstead High School located at 3300 Mariner Boulevard in Spring Hill.

First Responders from all disciplines (law enforcement, fire rescue, emergency management, hospital staff, medical helicopters, etc.) will take part in the training exercise which will begin at 9 a.m. and be complete by 1 p.m. Residents and/or motorists may see activity in the area as early as 7 a.m., when set-up begins.

During the training exercise, one northbound lane of Mariner Boulevard will be CLOSED. Detour signs will be posted, providing drivers with alternate routes.

Members of the media are invited to attend. A media staging area has been designated in a south parking lot, just south of the cafeteria, in a fenced area. Signage will be posted at the designated media staging area. Members of the media will not be permitted into the exercise area.

The Office of Sheriff:
The Office of the Sheriff is established by the Florida Constitution. As a constitutional officer, the Sheriff has the exclusive authority to administer his or her agency and is responsible for preserving the peace throughout the entire county, carrying out the laws of the state, the orders of Florida courts, and the ordinances of the Board of County Commissioners. The Sheriff is the chief law enforcement and correctional officer of the county.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis was initially appointed as the Sheriff of Hernando County by the Governor in January of 2011. He was then elected by the people of Hernando County in 2012, and remains accountable to them.

Neglected Animals Seized from Ridge Manor Property, Owner Cited

In April, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Animal Enforcement Unit responded to 34125 Hyatt Road in Ridge Manor to conduct a welfare check on numerous animals on the property that appeared to be in distress.

Upon arrival, Animal Enforcement officers noted several animals in need of attention.

Those animals included a horse, whose hip and rib bones were showing, an extremely overweight pot belly pig, three goats, and five adult dogs, whose pen was covered in feces and mold.

Officers met with Kay Davis W/F DOB/04-09-1951, the owner of the animals, but does not live on the property.

Officers told Davis she needed to clean the dogs’ pen immediately and provide them with fresh bedding and clean water. Davis advised a man was coming later that day to clean the dogs’ pen.

Officers also advised Davis she would need to have a veterinarian examine both the horse and one of the goats that appeared malnourished.

In addition, Davis was instructed to have a farrier examine the horse, which she agreed.

Davis advised she gets paid on May 3 and would have a farrier out at that time.

On April 24, officers made contact with Davis who advised a farrier would be out to see the horse on May 6.

Animal Enforcement officers returned to the property on May 31, after numerous attempts to contact Davis since April 24 were unsuccessful.

When officers arrived on scene they were able to observe the horse, whose condition appeared to worsen since the last visit.

Officers also noted none of the animals had access to food, and the water was covered in algae.

Upon documenting the conditions, officers called Davis who was told to respond to the property immediately.

All of the animals on the property were found in a state of neglect and were seized and taken to Animal Services in Brooksville.

Davis and Glen Gulvin W/M DOB/09-12-1954, who helps care of the animals, were each issued misdemeanor citations for Animal Cruelty.

The Animal Enforcement Unit is moving forward with a petition to permanently remove all of the animals from Davis’ custody.

The Office of Sheriff:
The Office of the Sheriff is established by the Florida Constitution. As a constitutional officer, the Sheriff has the exclusive authority to administer his or her agency and is responsible for preserving the peace throughout the entire county, carrying out the laws of the state, the orders of Florida courts, and the ordinances of the Board of County Commissioners. The Sheriff is the chief law enforcement and correctional officer of the county.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis was initially appointed as the Sheriff of Hernando County by the Governor in January of 2011. He was then elected by the people of Hernando County in 2012, and remains accountable to them.

Elderly Woman Airlifted After Dog Attack

On 05-27-19 just after 7:30 a.m., a call was received in the Emergency Communications Center regarding an elderly female who had just been attacked by three dogs.

Operators immediately dispatched Hernando County Fire Rescue (HCFR), a patrol deputy, and an animal enforcement officer to the scene.

The caller had placed the victim in a black pickup truck and was waiting alongside Spring Lake Highway for first responders to arrive. As they waited, the caller performed basic first aid on the victim’s wounds. The victim was suffering from severe dog bites to both of her legs.

The caller told operators that the three dogs that attacked the victim, described at pit-bulls, were still running loose in the area.

Due to the severity of the injuries, the victim was treated on scene by HCFR and then airlifted to a trauma center for advanced care.

Investigation revealed the elderly female was out walking on Spring Lake Highway, something she normally does, when the dogs attacked her. The person who called saw that something was wrong and stopped to provide assistance.

When deputies and animal enforcement officers arrived and attempted to collect the dogs, one or more of the dogs attempted to attack the deputies/animal enforcement officers. Bean bag rounds were utilized to subdue the dogs. The dogs were then collected and taken to Hernando County Animal Services.

The owner of the dogs has been identified as Ralph Hughes of Church Road in Brooksville. Hughes was cited as follows:
• Public Nuisance Animal – Second Offense (3 counts)
• Unrestrained Animal (3 counts).

Mr. Hughes has surrendered all three dogs for euthanasia, as he believes they are too aggressive. He does not want them back. It should be noted, all three dogs are licensed and current on all shots.

The victim is listed in stable condition.

There is no additional information available at this time.

Sentencing Information – Detectives Investigating Weekend Homicide

Update

Investigation revealed, the victim, identified as Preston Oliver Talley W/M DOB/03-29-1981, had traveled to Ridge Manor in Hernando County, from Gainesville, to meet with a female he met through the dating site, Plenty of Fish.

Once in Hernando County, Talley met with the female, later identified as Kayla Morrow. The pair traveled to a secluded area in the Richloam Wildlife Management Area off McKinney Sink Road in Webster.

Once in the forest, Morrow, along with three of her friends, robbed Talley, then beat him to death.

As of 05-16-19, all four suspects have been convicted in this case. The convictions are as follows:

• Kayla Ja’Nae Morrow W/F DOB/03-20-1991
o Convicted of Robbery
o Sentenced to 10 years in the Department of Corrections (sentenced in exchanged for her cooperation with the case)
• Andrew Christopher Abbott W/M DOB/01-29-1997
o Convicted of 2nd Degree Murder and Robbery
o Sentenced to 15 years in the department of Corrections (sentenced in exchanged for his cooperation with the case)
• Brandon Joe Harrelson W/M DOB/12-02-1991
o Went to Trial
o Convicted of 1st Degree Murder and Robbery
o Sentenced to Life in Prison plus 30 years
• Joshua DeWayne Gardner W/M DOB/03-03-1992
o Went to Trial
o Convicted of 1st Degree Murder and Robbery
o Sentenced to Two Consecutive Life Sentences.

Detectives thanked everyone involved in investigating and prosecuting this case, with a special thanks going out to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Crime Analysis Unit, “who were pivotal in providing crucial information that led to the arrest of the suspects.”

Original Information – 07-18-2016

Hernando County detectives are currently conducting a homicide investigation in the Richloam Forest in eastern Hernando County.

In the morning hours 07-17-16, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center received a call from a male who had gone into the Richloam Forest to bury his dog. While proceeding into the forest, the gentleman observed what appeared to be a body, lying on the ground. The gentleman immediately notified authorities then met deputies nearby and directed them to the exact location of the body.

Upon arrival deputies observed an individual, deceased from obvious signs of homicidal violence.

Detectives and Forensic Specialists immediately began conducting their investigations and processing physical evidence.

Throughout the day, detectives have worked tirelessly in order to obtain the identity of the deceased and to bring those responsible to justice.

LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS 05-20-19

• Deputies responded to:
o Alleged Sex Offense – Spring Hill – Active.
o Vehicle Burglary – 27316 Flagler Avenue/Brooksville – Homeowner observed a B/M (12 YOA) rifling through his vehicle – Suspect got away – Stole cash from the UNLOCKED vehicle.
o Battery LEO x2 – Karma/10511 Spring Hill Drive/Spring Hill – Unruly customer – Battered two LEOs when asked to leave – Arrest/Male.
o Death Investigation – 8239 Shorecrest Court/Spring Hill – Elderly male/No foul play suspected.
o Sex Offense – Brooksville – Active.
o Traveling to Meet a Minor for Sex – Spring Hill – Arrest/Male – Active.
o Suspicious Incident – St. Anne’s Catholic Church/Ridge Manor – Parishioner observed two males with masks on, driving through the parking lot – Active.
o Agency Assist/Pasco S.O. – Spring Hill – Marchman Act/Male.
o Aggravated Battery – 12391 Sunshine Grove Road/Brooksville – Over the collection of a debt – Male rammed the female’s vehicle (debt collector) with his truck – Arrest/Male.
o Traffic Stop – Swiss Road/Spring Hill – Driver attempted to flee on foot, from the stop – He had in his possession 54.3 grams of marijuana – Arrest/Male.

• Schools:
o Fox Chapel Middle – Male smoking on the bus.
o West Hernando Middle – Lewd/Lascivious – Occurred in January, elsewhere.
o Central High – Suspicious Incident.
o Central High – Battery.
o Parrott Middle = Battery.

• Miscellaneous:
o N/A.

JUDICIAL SERVICES
• Total # of inmates housed in the Hernando County Detention Center – 703
o Number of Federal Inmates (included in total) – 72
o Number of Pasco County Inmates (included in total) – 60
o Number of inmates housed in Medical Unit (included in total) – 18
o Number of Juvenile Inmates – 1
o Active Hospital Posts – 0
• Number of inmates transported to COURT:
o First Appearance (no transport required) – 6
o County Misdemeanor Court – 0
o Circuit Felony Court – 49
o Drug/Mental Health/Veterans Court – 0.
• Booking Data (previous 24 hours or previous weekend):
o Number of inmates Booked In – 44
o Number of inmates Booked Out (Released) – 49.
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Sentencing Update 05-20-19

On 05-21-17 in the early morning hours, a graduation party was underway at a residence in Brooksville.

At some point during the party, Samuel Taylor B/M DOB/11-03-1999, committed a sex act on a female juvenile who was at the party. The sex act was committed against the victim’s will.

On 05-20-2019, Samuel Taylor entered a GUILTY plea for this charge, in exchange for five years in the Department of Corrections.

Both the victim and her family accepted the terms of the plea agreement when consulted by the Assistant State Attorney prosecuting the case.