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Man Faces Numerous Felony Charges After Domestic Related Kidnapping

WEBSTER – A domestic dispute led to a woman being kidnapped and held against her will on Tuesday.

According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a residence in Webster after receiving a 911 call regarding a possible kidnapping.

Upon arrival on scene, deputies met with witnesses who advised, the suspect, identified as 23-year-old Kenneth Lengel-Stage, was hiding underneath the victim's vehicle. When the victim got into the vehicle to move it, Lengel-Stage immediately entered via the front passenger door, became engaged in a physical altercation with the victim, then removed her from the driver's seat to the back seat. Lengel-Stage then fled in the vehicle, at a high rate of speed, with the victim still in the back seat.

Patrol deputies and K-9 teams saturated the area in an effort to locate the victim's vehicle. The HCSO Aviation Unit responded, as well, to provide support from the air.

A deputy on scene at the residence was able to make contact with the victim by phone. The victim told the deputy she did not know where she was, and that Lengel-Stage was refusing to stop and let her out. The deputy could hear Lengel-Stage in the background yelling at the victim and telling her if law enforcement approached them, he would flee.

After a considerable period of time, the victim was able to convince Lengel-Stage to let her out of the vehicle; however, the victim still did not know where she was. She told the deputy she could hear the sirens "off in the distance" but they were not close. At about the same time, the HCSO Aviation Unit, piloted by Deputy Pilot Roy McLaughlin and Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) B.J. Hart, spotted the victim's vehicle in the area of Bertram Road and Lovebird Lane in Brooksville. Officials say, Lengel-Stage was driving without lights on, in an effort to evade capture. TFO Hart observed the victim get out of the vehicle and the driver drive away. TFO Hart directed ground units to the victim and to the suspect, who was still nearby, as he appeared to be having difficulty finding his way out of the area.

Deputies arrested Lengel-Stage and charged him with False Imprisonment, Domestic Battery, Grand Theft Auto, Carjacking, and Driving on a Suspended License.

Lengel-Stage remains behind bars on a $36,000 bond.

Lengel-Stage is currently on felony probation for a similar incident that occurred on February 2nd, 2021. He will be held on no bond due to the previous charges.


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