Hernando K-9 Captures Burglary Suspect, Deputies Say
He was treated for dog bites before he was taken to jail.
SPRING HILL – Dezl, a Hernando K-9 deputy, captured a suspected burglar Monday (July 10), according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Michael Lamar Whittenbarger, 20, was charged with one count each of violation of probation, resisting or obstructing an officer without violence, and unarmed burglary of an occupied dwelling. Deputies said he also had a felony warrant for violation of probation. The original charge was aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Deputies were called to Chase Street in Spring Hill just after 5 p.m. on Monday (July 10) for a burglary in progress at a home. When deputies arrived, Trena Sapp told them Whittenbarger had come to her home after being told several times not to do so. Whittenbarger banged on her door, demanding to be let in. When Sapp refused to let him in, deputies said, he removed a window
unit air conditioner and broke away portions of drywall to try to get inside.
When Sapp and her daughter, Jessica Leal, told him they were calling the sheriff, Whittenbarger said he would slit his wrists. He then pulled an unknown object out of his pocket and held it to his wrist.
Leal told Whittenbarger that deputies had been called. He fled on foot.
Deputies immediately set up a perimeter and called in a K-9 team to track Whittenbarger. Deputy Jason Jernigan and K-9 Dzel arrived and tracked Whittenbarger west, then north, then west
again, eventually to Geranium Avenue into an area thick with trees where Dzel found and bit Whittenbarger.
Whittenbarger was evaluated on scene by fire rescue then taken to Oak Hill Hospital for treatment of dog bites. He was later taken to the Hernando County Detention Center.
Deputies said they found a razor blade in Whittenbarger’s personal property.
For information about the Hernando sheriff, go to hernandosheriff.org.
Hernando Sheriff | K-9 | Crime | Burglary | Arrests | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter
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