Neighbors described 47-year-old Nickcole Dykema’s Brooksville home as a house of horrors.
"Scared to death,” said Paula DeFord. “Scared to death!”
Investigators found more than 3,500 knives, swords and other blades inside the home after they arrested Dykema early Wednesday morning. They say Dykema also used some of those weapons to “booby trap” her home and yard, resulting in minor injuries for several members of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office as they collected evidence.
Hernando County deputies originally stopped by just before 10 p.m. Tuesday to assist probation officers in serving arrest warrants. But they said getting her into custody wasn’t easy.
Sheriff Al Nienhius said first, Dykema swung a large sword at one of his sergeant’s heads, missing by inches. Deputies then fired several rounds of bean bags at Dykema, using what’s called a “less than lethal” shotgun.
Still, Nienhius said Dykema continued to resist and also managed to arm herself with more knives.
Finally, after nearly five hours of negotiating, deputies got close enough to use a stun gun on Dykema and placed her under arrest.
"It's a miraculous thing,” said Nienhius. “It's by the grace of God that everyone went home safe last night."
Investigators said Dykema is no stranger to their department. She was arrested on weapons charges in 2014 and neighbors have also filed complaints against her, including Paula DeFord, who lives next door with her elderly parents.
DeFord said in August, Dykema cut her screen window with a knife and just last week, also cut her cable lines. DeFord said she captured it all on surveillance video, which she handed over to the sheriff’s office.
"I knew that she carried knives because I heard the rumor mill around here,” DeFord said. “But the magnitude that I've seen coming out of the house today ... I'm thankful that my family and I are alive."
Sheriff Nienhuis described the scene inside Dykema’s home, which included an altar, chicken bones and rubber body parts, as satanic.
Neighbors said they will now be able to sleep peacefully, knowing Dykema is behind bars without bond.
"It's been a nightmare,” DeFord said. “And I'm so thankful that my nightmare is hopefully over and that my parents are safe."
Dykema is being held at the Hernando County Jail and is charged with three counts of probation violation, criminal mischief, resisting an officer and assault on an officer.