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Crimes, rogue geese keep deputies busy

BROOKSVILLE — From an alleged knife-wielding burglar and blueberry-pilfering geese to a house-crashing drunken driver and car- and candy bar-stealing teens, deputies had a busy 24 hours.

It began about 2 a.m. Tuesday when, Hernando sheriff's deputies say, a man with a lengthy and violent arrest record burglarized a woman's Spring Hill house.

Sean Felipe Campbell, 25, knew the security code to the victim's front door, so he walked in as she slept, a sheriff's report said. Once inside, deputies say, Campbell took two knives from a kitchen drawer and then kicked in the door to her bedroom.

Campbell, the report said, raised the knives and yelled, "Come on!" He then walked back out the front door, shut the door behind him and punched out the glass in a window. The woman's young son later told deputies he witnessed the incident.

A deputy soon found Campbell at 5303 Elkin Ave. Investigators say Campbell told them he had visited the woman at her home earlier in the day and had gone to a bar with her, where he said she left him. He denied going back to her home after that.

He was arrested and charged with burglary of a dwelling, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief. His bail was set at $20,500.

Late Tuesday afternoon, deputies responded to a less dangerous dispute off Forzando Avenue. Four of John Utterback's geese, authorities say, escaped from his yard and wandered onto William Newman's nearby property.

When Utterback, 55, asked Newman to return the birds, the 48-year-old refused because he said the birds had ravaged his blueberry crop, according to a report. Newman wouldn't let the geese go, he told Utterback, because they were his proof.

Utterback later admitted to a deputy that he'd accidentally left his gate open, and the birds had waddled out. A deputy cited him for having unrestrained animals. The geese, according to the report, were not punished.

Minutes later, authorities say, a 59-year-old drunken driver plowed into three cars and two houses in the Hill 'n Dale neighborhood, causing about $22,000 in damage.

John W. Smith, of 27278 Flagler Ave., hit two cars in the driveway of a Roper Road home, reports state. He then hit another car and a house on the same street before hitting a second house at the end of the block.

Smith, deputies say, refused to take a field sobriety test or give a sample of his breath. He was being held Wednesday at the Hernando County jail on $500 bail. According to the Hernando County Clerk of Court, Smith has been convicted twice before of driving under the influence.

Then, soon after midnight Wednesday, a clerk at the Walgreens at 13053 Cortez Blvd. called authorities because she suspected two teenagers were shoplifting from the store.

When a deputy arrived and approached the boys — one age 15 and the other 17 — they ran into the woods but were caught after a short chase. The teenagers, who investigators say had stolen candy bars, told the deputy they had fled because they were wanted for allegedly stealing a 1979 Jeep CJ-5 in Sumter County. Their names are being withheld because they're both minors.

The boys were arrested, charged and later released to a family member.

John Woodrow Cox can be reached at (352) 848-1432 or Melvin Backman can be reached at (352) 754-6114 or

Crimes, rogue geese keep deputies busy 06/29/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 8:07pm]
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