A Lakeland man’s decision to ram a woman’s car and throw his dog at her were all part of his plan to “talk with her at any cost,” he told police.
A mom dropping her daughter off at school Thursday morning first noticed Howard Van Sweringen when he used his white Ford F-150 to cut in front of the school buses, blocking them so she could exit, she told WFLA.
“I waved and thanked him,” Kristina Fuller told the station.
That goodwill quickly dissipated when Fuller, 35, realized the pickup truck was following her. Then he rammed her car so hard she almost lost control, the Lakeland Ledger reported. Fuller turned down a side street to get away, but Van Sweringen, 41, followed.
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“At every stop sign, he would come up next to my truck,” Fuller told the Ledger. “I started going down random roads just to try to get rid of him.”
She stopped at a red light and watched as he parked his truck and walked up to her window. She rolled it down, just far enough for Van Sweringen to toss his miniature pinscher through the gap.
Shocked, Fuller tossed the pup back at him and hit the gas. She didn’t want to lead him to her house, she told the Ledger, so she headed back to Lakeland High School.
She made it inside and grabbed an officer. When they walked back outside, police said Van Sweringen was trying to get into Fuller’s truck.
He was arrested and charged with aggravated battery and trespassing at the school.
He told police he knew Fuller at first, the Ledger reported, but then admitted he just thought she was pretty and wanted to “talk with her at any cost.”
A family member came and got the dog, Fuller wrote on Facebook.