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Punched in the Face, Identity Stolen… Just Another Day for RNRF Reporter

HERNANDO – Being a reporter has its ups and downs just like any other profession. Some days you’re shaking hands with the Governor, flying on a vintage aircraft, or getting backstage passes to celebrity events; other days you’re stomping through a downpour trying to get the best shot without ruining your camera.

What people don’t know is that reporters face the threat of attack every day; anything from hate mail, verbal assaults, and property damage, to more serious incidents like death threats, physical attacks, and sometimes murder.

In February, KFMB-TV, CBS 8 Sports Reporter, Kyle Kraska was shot multiple times outside his home in San Diego. Kraska survived the attack and still works at KMFB.

A female news anchor for KATV in Arkansas was brutally raped and murdered in 2008. Her assailant, 29-year-old Lavelle Vance was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2009, for the horrendous crime.

RNRF is attacked almost on a daily basis, usually by the same obsessed viewers who have nothing better to do, but sometimes by individuals with a more nefarious agenda.

In 2012, RNRF began receiving hate mail from 42-year-old Phillip Schryver, who was one of the subjects of a 2011 documentary I produced. By 2012, Schryver’s obsessive behavior had progressed to the point of him creating fake Facebook pages in my likeness and that of RNRF’s, for the purpose of distribution defamatory and libelous information. In 2013, a warrant was issued for Schryver’s arrest and he was eventually taken into custody in October of last year.

Schryver is charged with Fraud and Identity Theft with the purpose to Harass. That case is still pending.

In February, while taking a very rare break away from the news, I was enjoying one of my favorite bands at a local pub. As I was leaving the establishment with a friend, we noticed a couple fighting in the parking lot. As we drew closer to the situation, we noticed that the over 6’ tall man, later identified as 42-year-old Keith Howell, was towering over his wife, screaming at her in a threatening manner. When he noticed me standing nearby, he stated “…And you’re that RNRF m****r f****r” and proceeded to punch me in the head. By the time I was off the ground, Howell and several of his friends were already in a vehicle, leaving the scene. As the vehicle fled the, I captured the tag number, which led deputies to Howell’s location and to his subsequent arrest. Howell is currently out on bond facing one count of Battery.

There are two kinds of dangers associated with working in this field; one comes from those who wish to do harm, for whatever malevolent reason, the other comes in the form of an adrenaline rush, stimulated by beating everyone to the scene of a crime or major incident. I prefer the latter.

We posted the following video on the RNRF facebook page yesterday, but I find it fitting to provide the link again in this article, as a reminder of what we do every day in Hernando County.

Caution: if you are easily offended by foul language or graphic images, do not watch the video:

R News is Your News (RAW)

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Howe Schryver Howell 1 Schryver 2 Scryver 1

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  • ONLY SCUMBAGS and CRIMINALS or some people that do stupid $hit are upset at Tom and want to hurt the guy. Scumbags dont want the world to know about them. they want to be in the shadows and get away with their garbage behavior. We need more Media like Tom instead of GARBAGE like CNN, MSNBC, ABC take your pick or the alphabet. its corporate media garbage with an agenda (completely) that has the priority. Its good we have something local to hold dirtbags accountable. Especially dirtbags from New York and/or who have 50 Pitbills in a 1 car garage or trailer…

    Wednesday, 18 April 2018, 1:16 am
  • Who cares? One way or the other. Love is so precious. Why squabble over stuff like this?

    Friday, 17 April 2015, 7:07 pm
  • I never said u don’t do a good job and no I’m not one of the guys in your pictures either.

    Wednesday, 15 April 2015, 6:54 pm
  • Dude, I would actually pay for your piece of shit rag if it was entirely about you getting your puny, pasty ass kicked by pissed-off people from New York!

    You’re such a great douche bag, Tom! Everyone LOVES to HATE you!

    Some people make a great career out it; go with it, Tom!

    Wednesday, 15 April 2015, 6:22 pm
      • scumbags dont want their dirty laundry and misdeeds in the news… it hurts them in court and in their personal lives. so, as long as you do ACTUAL NEWS, you will always be a target of scum Tom.
        screw em’ ! keep up the good work and take it easy on HCSO…Big Gay Al really isnt that bad believe it or not.

        Wednesday, 18 April 2018, 1:10 am
  • Hey, My Opinion Says: apparently you are not a fan of Mr. Lemons based on your comments. As a year round taxpayer of Hernando Cty. I truly appreciate the excellent job that Real News and Tom Lemons does. No nonsense factual on the scene (usually) fair reporting. It appears that only the folks who get caught committing crimes do not like the slight of the law and Tom Lemons.
    Real News is the major source of local news here in the county and please support the local businesses that support Real News.

    Wednesday, 15 April 2015, 5:29 pm
  • Writing a story about yourself ? So you got your a:; wooped big deal that’s what happens when u pry into people’s business without asking.

    Wednesday, 15 April 2015, 11:27 am
  • I don’t understand why some people get so upset with you REPORTING the news. It’s not like you are making up the stories. You are only reporting what is happening. If folks don’t like what YOU do then maybe they need to change what THEY do!!

    Tuesday, 14 April 2015, 8:36 am
  • **GRATEFUL**

    Tuesday, 14 April 2015, 5:18 am
  • We love you Tom and are very GREATFUL of all your hard work to keep us informed…. You are AMAZING!!!!

    Tuesday, 14 April 2015, 5:14 am
  • Keep doing what your doing, tom. But to everyone who says that spring hill has taken a turn for the worse, you are wrong. Every county in Florida has the exact same crime. most of them worse. There just was not a media outlet that covered these stories. we here in hernando are lucky to have someone as diligent as Tom lemmons, who cares enough to bring us this in-depth news. Just don’t get it wrong, its always been here, you just never knew.

    Monday, 13 April 2015, 9:52 pm
  • I have always said if u smile in your mugshot u should get extra time,,,,goes to show their ignorance

    Monday, 13 April 2015, 9:10 pm
  • They tell them to smile as a joke when taking their booking photo and they actually smile. I was a CO up north can’t tell you how many people we had smiling in their booking photo because told them that lol

    Monday, 13 April 2015, 8:31 pm
  • Some serious ugly guys jeeze go back under the rock you came from

    Monday, 13 April 2015, 7:44 pm
  • Why are these fools smiling in their mugshots? That always irks me. Are they proud of themselves?

    Monday, 13 April 2015, 7:04 pm
  • Thank you for keeping us informed.

    Monday, 13 April 2015, 4:54 pm
  • Where’s the video?

    Monday, 13 April 2015, 4:24 pm
  • This is the problem thses guys have nothing better to do,they forgot to grow up. i hope they both get whats coming to them.

    Monday, 13 April 2015, 4:00 pm

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