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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Chef at restaurant in The Villages arrested after attack sends woman to hospital

Austin Tyler Kennedy
Austin Tyler Kennedy

A chef at a restaurant in The Villages was arrested after an alleged attack sent a woman to a hospital in Ocala.

Austin Tyler Kennedy, 28, of Fruitland Park was booked Tuesday at the Lake County Jail on charges of battery by strangulation and false imprisonment. He was released after posting $12,000 bond. He indicated he works as a chef at the Farmshed restaurant at Spanish Springs Town Square, according to an arrest report from the Fruitland Park Police Department.

Kennedy’s on-again-off-again girlfriend said she had gone to Kennedy’s home on Monday for dinner. She said he began to look through her phone and he got “angry” when he spotted messages from her male roommate.

“He flipped a switch and went crazy,” she told police. He grabbed her in a headlock motion and used his hand to cover her nose and mouth. He began to choke her “harder.”

Kennedy, who stands 6 feet tall and weighs 210 pounds, would not let her leave and she said she was praying to God to “allow her to live through the night.” Kennedy gave her permission to leave after she promised she would not call law enforcement.

She later sought treatment at the emergency room at AdventHealth in Ocala. She initially told a nurse she had fallen. A doctor told her she had a third degree sprain in her knee that would require treatment from an orthopedic surgeon due to the severity of the injury.

Kennedy had been arrested in 2016 while he staying with his grandmother in the April Hills subdivision in Lady Lake. Kennedy went into his grandmother’s bedroom, woke her up and demanded a phone charger, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department. When she refused, Kennedy punched a hole in the wall. When she attempted to call 911, he slapped the phone out of her hand, the report indicated.

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