BROOKSVILLE, FL – On Tuesday, March 8, 2022 just before 8 p.m., Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence in Webster in regards to a possible Kidnapping. According to authorities, a 9-1-1 call was received regarding a female victim being kidnapped by a former domestic partner.
Upon arrival on scene, deputies met with witnesses who said the suspect, identified as 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. An 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 she still did not know where she was and told the deputy she could hear sirens “off in the distance” but they were not close.
At about the same time, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit spotted the victim’s vehicle in the area of Bertram Road and Lovebird Lane in Brooksville. The suspect, who was driving without lights on in an effort to evade capture, was observed speeding off after the victim got out of the vehicle. Aviation then 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.
Fortunately, the victim was not physically injured during this incident. Deputies were able to track down and arrest 32 year old Kenneth Lengel-Stage and charged him with false imprisonment, domestic battery, grand theft auto, carjacking, and knowingly driving while license suspended or revoked license.
According to authorities, the investigation also revealed that Lengel-Stage is on felony probation for charges similar to his new charges. The previous incident occurred approximately one year ago. He is now being be held on a no bond status as a result.