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Bizarre Hernando County stories from 2010

Every year, Hernando County residents give their neighbors plenty of opportunities to wonder if there is something in the water that makes them do the most outrageous things. And 2010 was no different. Here are some of the more memorable items from the pages of the Hernando Times during the last 12 months.


But, honey, Glee was on TV: Elizabeth Seebach of Brooksville is arrested and accused of biting and hitting her boyfriend after he refuses to have sex with her.

You need a DNA sample for a license?: County office workers catch the brunt of residents' fury over new state rules on how to get drivers' licenses and other documents.

Your tax dollars at work: The Pasco Hernando Jobs and Education Partnership uses $6,000 in state funds for employee massages, including some given by the former CEO's wife.

Tempting fate?: Hernando County postpones its annual party for people who have lived 100 years or more until April.


Because you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning: Brooksville extends hours for selling alcohol. Sales had been prohibited before 1 p.m. on Sundays.

You were expecting, maybe, bowling scores?: Animosity at the Spring Hill Fire Rescue board reaches a new level as a resident complains that the chaplain's website contains religious material.

Some day, you'll laugh about this: Charlie and Maria Cardoso bought a home in Spring Hill with cash in 2005. The Bank of America seizes the house — removing their belongings and changing the locks. But the bank has the wrong house; the one it meant to seize is across the street and about 10 doors down. The couple has sued the bank.

The cuffs aren't for playing around, hon: A Brooksville police prostitution sting, dubbed Operation Valentine's Sweetheart, nets seven men.


Guards also found a dozen chicken wings, a pot roast and Boston Cream pie: Thomas Althoff is caught in jail snorting 33 crushed Xanax pills. He got them drugs through inspection by hiding them in his rolls of fat.

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here: Eric Spevack falls asleep at a Spring Hill McDonald's drive through at 2 a.m. after a night of St. Patrick's Day partying and is arrested on a DUI charge.

Lucky day for him. For George, not so much: A Circle K store video shows a man picking up a bank bag that George Sudyam dropped in the Broad Street parking lot. Sudyam was going to use the cash to pay his taxes.

You may already be a winner!: Doris Siegel, 78, of Brooksville is accused of running a Nigerian-style lottery scam, and taking about $1 million from neighbors and friends.

Under-dressed for the party: Police arrest David Still, 39, for disorderly intoxication after seeing him arguing with his wife outside an auto repair shop in Brooksville. Still was naked, and there were beer cans, a cooler and garbage scattered around the parking lot.


Road Warrior, Spring Hill edition: Gail Sievers and Misty Rummel get tangled in a road rage incident that started at a supermarket parking lot, rolled through a gas station and back to the parking lot, where Sievers rammed her pickup into Rummel's truck before being arrested.

The flip side was a list of Earth Day events: In an effort to inform residents about changes in curbside recycling and encourage them to use it, Hernando County sends out 34,000 postcards, all of which contain incorrect information. The county advises residents to get rid of the cards.

Bad hand! Bad hand!: Clinton Ingram is at the Sheriff's Office to register as a convicted felon when a surveillance camera shows him stealing a pair of sunglasses that a man had set down as he used the restroom.

But deputy, I was just playing a round: Deputies say Peter Draeger broke into several Hernando County golf course shops and stole cigars, golf balls and clothing.


Hey, Jared! Bite this footlong!: The Subway restaurant chain tells Coney Island Drive Inn to cease and desist selling its footlong, which has been part of the restaurant for 47 years. The company retreats in a hail of bad publicity.

They had to swim there first: Weeki Wachee Springs State Wildlife Park's famous mermaids perform shows in London, the first time the park favorites have gone overseas.

It was a crappy plan anyway: Hernando County drops plans to spend $163,000 on a bathroom at the U.S. 98 trail head of the Suncoast Trail.

Deputy, they stole my stash: Joshua McWilliams of Spring Hill waves down a deputy around 2 a.m. to say two people had taken his car keys. Deputies search his vehicle and find various pills and drug paraphernalia.


Lonesome Dove comes to Spring Hill: Deputies round up 20 cows that are roaming County Line Road near Mariner Boulevard. Their owner has been cited six times since January for allowing his cows to get loose.

Weapon of mass evacuation: A bottle of cleaning polish spills in the JROTC area at Central High School, causing strong fumes that lead students and teachers to evacuate.

A Taylor Swift song comes to life: Jason Gray, a teacher and girls soccer coach at Central High, drunk dials one of his female players one night and asks her to give him a ride home.

Revenge for naming him Tassey: Christopher Bishop put his pickup truck in neutral while he looked underneath for oil leaks. His bulldog Tassey jumped around in the front seat and put it into gear, rolling over Bishop.


You know it when you see it: David Lowe's conviction on a sex charge, based on his arrest for putting a sex toy in his mouth while sitting in a parked car while a 7-year-old girl walked by, is overturned because the law does not clearly identify what he did as a sex act.

In some cultures, this means you're engaged: Thomas Self is cleaning his pistol when his dog jumps on him, knocking the gun to the floor where it fires and hits his girlfriend in the knee.

Phase 1, pump Old Spice into the air: The county reveals a two-stage plan to curtail the stink from an aging sewage treatment plant on Osowaw Boulevard, which has been gagging residents for more than a decade.

The Real Iron Chef: Upset that his meal is not ready when he gets home around 2:30 a.m., Anthony Carpenter throws a hunting knife at a woman in the house, sticking the big blade in a coffee table.


Revenge of the nerds: Todd Rogers, 45, of Brooksville enters the video game hall of fame as the first professional gamer.

A simple sign would have sufficed: William Handley, 50, puts a BB gun to the head of a security alarm salesman and walks him off of his Spring Hill home. He tells deputies he really does not like solicitors.

On this, we all agree: South Brooksville activist Paul Boston complains to the County Commission about security measures at the courthouse that has men removing their belts. As he holds his belt, his pants fall down. "You all really don't want to see my butt," he says.

That close to a nasty paper cut: Michael Vitale is arrested on a charge of assault after throwing paperwork from a domestic violence injunction at a deputy, hitting him in the head.

What, no more 4 o'clock lattes?: Sheriff Richard Nugent takes over the county jail with a get-tough policy. Gone are pizza nights, movie nights, hot breakfasts and sleeping in.


Weren't you guys with the Village People?: Three Spring Hill firefighters are suspended after admitting that they were at a house party while on duty.

No, I won't tell you what color underwear I'm wearing: Erik Pidrman, 66, of Spring Hill is sentenced to 27 months in prison after drunk dialing U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite and leaving a nasty message on her office phone.

Dim bulb with a bright light: Louis Amalfitano of Spring Hill is arrested after shining a laser light into the eyes of a sheriff's helicopter pilot, briefly blinding him.

You can run, but ya can't hide: Guy Osman Gould of Brooksville thought he had escaped charges on sexual battery of a child by jumping bail and fleeing to the South Pacific island of Samoa, but federal authorities track him down.


The witnesses were Witnesses: Rudolf Hellmold is arrested after he points a pistol at two Jehovah's Witnesses walking up his driveway, telling them, "Get off my f---ing property!"

Walking advertisement for better security: A Spring Hill woman finds a man standing in her bedroom, who tells her he is there to sell windows. He flees and is arrested.

Don't mess with my mama: Martin Ryals comes running when his mother calls to say a strange man is in her Ridge Manor house. Ryals confronts Jonathan Rossi with a shotgun, walks him at gunpoint out of the house and fires a warning shot near Rossi, an air-conditioning repairman who had an appointment to service the unit.

No good deed goes unpunished: Driving a county road grader along State Road 50, Phil Phillips detours into the Sand Hill Scout Reservation to get some paperwork signed and gets the $150,000 machine stuck in the mud. Two other pieces of county heavy equipment are needed to extricate the grader.

Can't be too thorough: A 15-year-old student at Hernando High is arrested after he tries to sell pornographic DVDs to fellow students. A deputy determines they are pornographic after watching 15 of them.


Dancing with the stars, redneck edition: Eugene Bissonnette tells his brother Joseph Bissonnette to leave his Brooksville house, then shoots at his feet with a rifle. Joseph shoots back at his brother's feet. Both brothers are arrested on aggravated assault charges.

Great escape plan goes up in bubbles: Tomas Montesino of Brooksville had cut through bars on his jail cell window and had drilled holes around the window, but a handcuff key he carved out of soap catches the attention of guards and his escape plan is thwarted.

Today's fight card postponed: The contentious Spring Hill Fire Rescue board figures out a way to meet and not fight: Don't have enough members present for a quorum.

Git along, little doggies!: Animal Services workers and deputies spend six hours rounding up 63 Shih Tzu dogs that were dumped on a rural road near Brooksville late at night.


How did such a genius end up behind bars?: William Faiella tries to hire a hitman to kill the prosecutor who put him in jail as well as his defense attorney, promising a Social Security check as payment.

Clash of the geriatric titans: Franklin Ferrell, a country club employee, says he is tired of insults from Richard Daskan, a club member, so he grabs the man in a headlock in the dining room and punches him three times. Both men are 74.

God is not amused: Bridget S. Pachoumis of Spring Hill admits she stole two credit cards from a purse at First Baptist Church of Spring Hill and racked up nearly $600 in charges.

Bizarre Hernando County stories from 2010 12/31/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 31, 2010 7:31pm]
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