BROOKSVILLE — Tom Lemons, who spends most days blogging about other people arrested by sheriff's deputies, was arrested and booked into the Hernando County Detention Center after a disturbance Friday night at a local bar.
Floyd Thomas Lemons, 49, was charged with two counts of battery and one violation of the state's concealed weapons statute regarding where a weapon can be carried.
According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, Lemons approached two women at Karma Spirits and Café at 10511 Spring Hill Drive late Friday night. Lemons reportedly tried to "hit on them'' according to Jodie Griggs, one of the women.
"Jodie advised that the defendant did not like that they were not interested in him,'' she told deputies. Then he grabbed her arm and tried to pull.
Lemons fell on the floor, and the second woman, Allison Russo, said Lemons got up and punched her in the neck, according to the report. The deputy who reviewed surveillance video confirmed the report, saying that Lemons appeared to have fallen when Griggs pushed him off her.
Lemons told deputies he had a concealed weapon, the report said, adding that he knew he wasn't supposed to bring the gun into the bar, but that the owner gave him permission to have it there. Deputy W. Harsanyi removed the black Glock 27 from Lemons’ waistband, the report said.
He later was arrested at 10461 Quality Drive, which is the Bayfront Health Spring Hill hospital.
Lemons posted $1,500 bond and was released Saturday morning.
Lemons promotes himself as "a tenacious, undaunted, controversial journalist who stops at nothing to report breaking news in Hernando, Pasco, and Citrus Counties." He has run several local blogs, including Real News Real Fast and Real News Faster.
After his arrest, WZEU radio announced that it had severed ties with Lemons. He recently had a talk show on the station and noted on his Facebook page that the station was "one of our biggest sponsors.''
Lemons told the Tampa Bay Times on Monday that he couldn’t comment about the arrest. He said he filed a complaint against the two women and said he believes the surveillance video shows that they went after him.
Contact Barbara Behrendt at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.