Frostproof resident Howard Van Sweringen recently did everything in his power to ensure that the object of his affection, a woman named Kristina Fuller, would never forget him.
Incidentally, the 41-year-old father of a Lakeland High School student got exactly what he wished for last Thursday and is subsequently now facing imprisonment for aggravated assault after, according to the New York Post, he tried to get her attention “at any cost.”
Fuller explained to WFLA-8 that her unwanted engagement with Van Sweringen first began on the morning of February 8 after she dropped her teenage daughter off at Lakeland High for classes. As she drove off for home around 7 a.m., she took notice of another driver in a white Ford F150, Van Sweringen, going out of his way to assist her on nearby Bartow Road.
“This man, who I never saw before in the car line,” Ms. Fuller explained, “cuts in front of the school buses, blocking everything, just so I could get out, so I waved and thanked him.”
Thinking nothing else of the odd traffic blocker, Kristina continued on her way, but Van Sweringen wanted more than jut gratitude from the woman.
“Every turn I was making he was following me,” Ms. Fuller alleged, until both she and Van Sweringen came to rest at a traffic light on the cross street of Harden Boulevard and Beacon Road.
That’s when, so says Ms. Fuller, the accused revved up his pursuit for her attention in a frightening and beastly way.
“He got out of his vehicle, came up to my window and threw his dog on me,” she relayed.
“I thought it was going to bite me or something, so I tossed the dog back at him.”
After hurling the pet out of her vehicle toward her predator, a frightened Fuller quickly drove away from the scene. However, Howard Van Sweringen still wouldn’t take the hint and began ramming the back of her car as she tried to speed off.
— Melissa Marino (@WFLAMelissaM) February 10, 2017
“I was trying to get away,” she recalled, “[but] he kept coming up beside me and trying to run me off the road. At one point, I made a U-turn [but] he jumped over the median [and] locked three lanes of traffic just to get behind me again.”
“I was on the phone with my friend crying [the whole time],” Kristina continued.
“I didn’t know what to do.”
After ending the call with her associate to reach out to Lakeview High office workers, Fuller turned her car around and drove back to the school with Van Sweringen still in pursuit. Luckily, she was able to reach her destination safely, but her ordeal wasn’t done just yet.
“I ran inside, grabbed [an] officer and when we came outside, we found the guy trying to get into my truck,” Kristina remembered.
“He told us he was looking for something for his headache. He seemed completely out of his mind.”
When approached by a law enforcement officer that was called to the scene, the lovelorn Van Sweringen admitted that he didn’t know Kristin at all, but believed that she was just too pretty for him to pass up.
“He told them that he didn’t know Fuller, ‘but knew he had to watch her,'” the WFLA-8 report reads.
“He told them Fuller’s parents told him to watch her. He told them he rammed his vehicle into hers because she wouldn’t stop to talk to him, ‘after they had partied all night.’ And [then], he told them he thought Fuller was pretty and wanted to ‘talk with her at any cost.”
Now behind bars and also facing charges of trespassing on school property for his actions, Van Sweringen can rest assured that his goal to open Kristin Fuller’s eyes to his existence has been met, but not in a way that’s appealing to most romantics.
“I have a gun next to me now,” Ms. Fuller admits. “I thought I was calm, but when I hear about [him], my heart just starts beating again.
A relative of Howard Van Sweringen’s has since taken custody of the dog, which is said to be doing fine after being thrown out of Kristina’s car window.
[Featured Image by Lakeland Police Department]