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Man charged with battery

A Canadian man has been charged with battery on a law enforcement officer after an altercation with a Hernando County sheriff's deputy at Spring Hill Regional Hospital, Sheriff's Office reports say.

According to reports, Gordon E. Dendera, 40, of Ontario, Canada, was stopped by deputies on Landover Boulevard, east of Mariner, about 2 a.m. Saturday after his blue van was seen swerving along the road. Dendera failed a roadside sobriety test and was arrested on charges of driving under the influence, but reports said he complained of low hemoglobin and told deputies he was in danger of dying.

He was transported to Spring Hill Regional, where he became verbally abusive toward hospital workers and others, reports say.

A deputy took Dendera to another room and asked him to calm down, but he lunged at the deputy, shoving him through an open doorway and injuring the deputy's right wrist, reports say. After doctors examined Dendera, he was transported to the Hernando County jail, where he is being held on $5,500 bail.

Teen faces sex charge

BROOKSVILLE _ A 15-year-old Brooksville boy was arrested Friday afternoon after he said he exposed himself to a pair of young children and molested a 4-year-old girl, sheriff's reports said.

The teen was charged Friday with two counts of lewd and lascivious acts in the presence of children.

According to reports, sometime in October the boy pulled his pants down in front of two small children, and then asked a young girl to expose herself to him. After the girl removed her pants, reports say, the boy placed her on his lap and asked her to touch him.

The girl told detectives she left his lap and refused his request and that the teen did not assault her. When questioned by detectives, he admitted to the incident but also said he molested the girl, reports say.

He was taken by detectives to the Hernando County jail and transferred to the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center.

RV burns up on highway

ROYAL HIGHLANDS _ A 46-foot recreational vehicle caught fire on U.S. 19 Saturday, tying up traffic on the highway for more than an hour while members of the Northwest Hernando Fire Department battled flames and assisted in the cleanup.

According to Lt. Robert Rae, Ernest Rosen of Ithaca, Mich., was driving along U.S. 19 about 11:15 a.m. when friends in a car behind him noticed smoke coming from underneath Rosen's RV.

Reports said Rosen pulled over and got out of the trailer, along with a passenger and a dog, and watched the fire spread through the vehicle's engine and transmission.

The flames quickly engulfed the gas tank, Rae said, causing the entire RV to burn.

Lt. Neil Zierden, of the fire department that handled the call, estimated the damage at more than $10,000.

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