Villagers’ son set free from jail and told to stay away from town square

Derek Baum

A Villages couple’s adult son with a history of mental instability has been set free from jail and ordered to stay away from a town square in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

Derek Baum, 46, who had been living with his parents on Pompano Lane in the Village of Silver Lake, was released earlier this month from the Lake County Jail. Last week, he paid $961 in fines and court fees, satisfying a judgment in Lake County Court.

Part of the court’s order stipulates that Baum stay away from Spanish Springs Town Square and, in particular, not visit Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream.

Baum on Aug. 13 had been issued a notice to appear in court on a trespassing charge after he refused to leave the chocolate shop. The owner of the shop said Baum had been hanging around his store for several days, according to an incident report from the Lady Lake Police Department. He said Baum appeared to be homeless and had a “strong odor of feces.”

Baum told police his mother “recently kicked him out of his residence and he wasn’t allowed to return.” He said he had been sleeping at Spanish Springs for about a week because he did not have any place to go.

Baum did not show up for the mandatory court date and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was found in November in the lobby of a psychiatric hospital in Spring Hill when staff called law enforcement over a “trespasser.” 

Baum had been released July 25 from the Sumter County Detention Center after he was examined by an expert witness and found to be incompetent to proceed with a criminal case.

He had been arrested April 1 after claiming to be a Seminole Indian and refusing to leave The Villages Regional Hospital. Baum, who stands 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 315 pounds, said he “owned” the land and could not be evicted from it. Several times, Baum was offered the chance to get in a taxi and leave the premises. He refused and was arrested on a charge of trespassing.

In 2018, he was arrested in an incident at his parents’ home on the Historic Side of The Villages.