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Burglary Suspect Captured After Short K-9 Track, Says, “Love you Mom” to RNRF Camera

UPDATE: 7/11/2017, 1:44 P.M. – According to an officials report, Hernando County deputies were dispatched to 9259 Chase Street in Spring Hill regarding a Residential Burglary in progress.

Upon arrival, deputies met with Trena Sapp, who advised that Michael Whittenbarger arrived at her home after being told several times not to come. Whittenbarger began banging on the door, demanding to be let in. When Sapp continued to deny Whittenbarger entry into the residence, he removed a window unit air conditioner and broke away portions of drywall and attempted to gain entry into the residence.

When Sapp and Jessica Leal (Sapp’s daughter) advised Whittenbarger that they were contacting law enforcement, Whittenbarger stated that he would slit his wrists. He then pulled an unknown object out of his pocket and held it to his wrist.

When Leal told Whittenbarger that law enforcement had been contacted, he fled from the residence on foot.

Deputies immediately set up a perimeter and called in a K-9 team to track the suspect. Deputy Jason Jernigan and K-9 Dzel arrived on scene and began tracking. The K-9 team tracked Whittenbarger west, then north, then west again, eventually to Geranium Avenue into an area thick with trees where K-9 Dzel located and bit Whittenbarger.

Whittenbarger was evaluated on scene by Fire/Rescue then transported to Oak Hill Hospital for treatment of dog bites. He was later transported to the Hernando County Detention Center.

While still on scene, deputies took possession of Whittenbarger’s personal property which included a wallet, a pack of cigarettes, and a razor blade.

A computer check on Whittenbarger revealed a Felony warrant for Violation of Probation (original charge – Aggravated Assault w/Deadly Weapon).


Deputies later learned that Whittenbarger and Jessica Leal (Sapp’s daughter) have a son in common. Whittenbarger arrived last month from Nassau County Florida and has been living with his grandmother.

UPDATE: 10:35 P.M. – According to the Hernando County Jail website, 20-year-old Michael Lamar Whittenbarger is charged with Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling, Resisting Arrest, and Violation of Probation. Whittenbarger is held without bond, due to the VOP.

SPRING HILL – A burglary suspect is in custody tonight after sources say he tried to break into a home located at the 9200 block of Chase Street.

There are unconfirmed reports that the suspect used a knife to make entry into the home but then fled when he realized the residence was occupied.

RNRF happened to be in the area as the first deputies began to arrive and establish a perimeter. K-9 units arrived shortly after and tracked the suspect westbound on Chase Street, until they located him hiding between two houses on the corner of Northcliffe Blvd and Geranium Street. The suspect quickly surrendered after one of the K-9 took a small bite out of his hip.

As the suspect was being escorted to the awaiting ambulance he looked at the camera and said, “Love you mom!”The suspect is expected to be booked into the Hernando County Jail on charges of burglary of an occupied dwelling after he is medically cleared at a local hospital.

We will update this story once the suspect’s identity and charges have been confirmed.

Live Video from the scene is available for viewing on the RNRF Facebook Page

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2017 RNRF Incorporated.


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  • Fat lives matter.

    Wednesday, 12 July 2017, 10:42 am
  • Real news real fast my mother would appreciate it if her address and name’s could be removed u can’t just go putting everyone’s information all on line come on

    Wednesday, 12 July 2017, 9:55 am
  • Suck yo d…..

    Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 8:57 pm
  • Good Boy Dzel!!

    Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 8:08 pm
  • The fact that he could run at all is incredible considering he’s morbidly obese.

    Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 10:34 am
    • lmfaooo frrrr tho ?????

      Wednesday, 12 July 2017, 3:49 pm
  • He was just there to raid the refrigerator. You can tell by looking at him he is starving.

    Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 8:56 am
  • “I love you Mom”, do I make you proud?

    Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 8:06 am
  • His mother must be so proud

    Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 7:39 am
  • Now that’s a REAL pain in the ass. 😀
    Hope he got his yearly rabies shot too…rotflmao!!

    Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 5:57 am
  • I went to that BS Facebook , didn’t see any ” hi mommy” video Tom . Just u talking in front of him??? What’s the dealio?

    Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 5:55 am
  • Now THAT’s a REAL pain in the ass….lmao!! 😀 hope he got a rabies shot. Rotflmao… 😀

    Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 5:55 am
  • Yup, hangem, than shootem, case closed no future problems from this guy. Savings to society, priceless.

    Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 4:07 am
  • Another loser out of this hood pfor tonight

    Monday, 10 July 2017, 11:39 pm
  • Wonder what kinda of drugs he was on.

    Monday, 10 July 2017, 10:47 pm
    • Tim, surely you are aware of the going rate of being a real life hypocrite, correct? I believe you may have forgotten, or maybe you never noticed that “Life” and everything in the universe such as partners in crime; the fly on the wall; them Hill’s that have eyes…….. or maybe a girl we’ll just call Chameleon, which unfortunately like most you made thw common mistake of falling a preconceived notion of YOURS that Chameleon scum “statistically?” Idk about you but I too live in this real life Walking Dead and im pretty sure if we needed a Rent-A-Coparazzi you might waana make sure were all dead walking and not just placed in that category of SCUM like you do so well. I think you might consider it’s time to tighten up and stop acting like you are unwavering in your anti drug/junkie NOISE you been making which btw is a nuisance to my santimonious ambitions to rid the world of sneaky ratty snakes, creep af just marinating in their own scummy web of lies n and being a fraud. You are a bully who has chosen the most socially unaccepted and without a voice race of humans to as the unlucky candidates for your hateful exploitative nature all for that obvious deep rooted hatred for women you have. Well once a critic or inexperienced subject stoops down to the METHODOLOGIES of those who have truly gone mad with those methods………… let me transliterate for you…….. I’m tired of seeing your name on the local threads makjng the same noise over n over even on topics and headlines that are completely unrelated to your broken record sounding war cries. You haven’t always practiced being a good Samaritan when temptation catches up to you before you completely “pay it forward”…….. EVERYTHING done in the dark WILL come to the light, especially when we are playing roles of too many opposing forces for a proactive fellla like yourself. One cannot be politically correct AND morally correct at the same time. Everytime i see your name , it rubs me the wrong way because you speak so arrogantly and such a high regard for yourself…… I’m seriously so tired of ppl who always go something say and by something i mean ignorance at its finest. Nobody stay on top forever. You aint supposed to forget the trip down noatter how high you get this time.. that’s what determines your next drop. Truth does set us free. I wish you no harm, please stop with the contemptuous behavior. It’s old.

      Friday, 14 July 2017, 1:55 am
  • Interesting to watch, Nice talking with you Tom.

    Monday, 10 July 2017, 8:59 pm
  • We Love you cousin. Sad that you chose this road but maybe it’s for the best. See you when you get out.

    Monday, 10 July 2017, 8:18 pm
  • Well now I can safely say that’s taking a bite out of crime did Mommy blow kisses to him as he was being driven away

    Monday, 10 July 2017, 8:07 pm
  • That’s what his get !! Wanna put ya hands on my best friend an now ya punk gone for good boy ??? He finna be someone’s in prison ???????

    Monday, 10 July 2017, 8:00 pm
  • All Thieves need to die.Please keep trying your luck.Soon you will walk into a house and be carried out.People like me would laugh at you for being to stupid to work for a living.

    Monday, 10 July 2017, 7:49 pm
  • K-9 takes a bite outta crime!!! Great job!!

    Monday, 10 July 2017, 7:12 pm
  • Guys like this are taking their lives in their hands trying to pull a burglary in this area. Lots of folks are armed.

    Monday, 10 July 2017, 7:04 pm

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