The Bizarre World of Florida

Mother of Little Havana Murder Suspect Urges Him To Turn Himself In December 31, 2012

Filed under: Bizzarre,Dangerous Nut,Death,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 6:59 pm

Miami Police detectives are looking for the man suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend outside a Little Havana drug store Friday afternoon.

They want to talk to Ifrain Quintana.


So does his mother. On Saturda, Katileydi Quintana made an emotion plea for him to come forward.

“Turn yourself in,” she told him over the phone. “Call me.”

Quintana said her son needs psychiatric help and insisted police wanted to help him.

Investigators said Quintana is armed and extremely dangerous.

They said he confronted Ariadna Gonzalez Campa, 42, Friday afternoon along SW 5th St. and 8th Avenue, taunted her then shot her multiple times…


Hulk Hogan ready to open ‘Hogan’s Beach’ restaurant on New Year’s Eve

Filed under: Amazing,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 6:57 pm

It’s been quite a 2012 for wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan. He’s battled a sex tape, opened a beach shop, and now is opening a restaurant on New Year’s Eve!



It’s called “Hogan’s Beach” and the 20,000-square-foot waterfront restaurant is located at the old Crabby Bill’s in Rocky Point, on the eastbound side of the Courtney Campbell in Tampa.

“It’s going to be Jimmy Buffet’s [Margaritaville] times 10, Hooters times 10,” Hogan told the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s a logical extension of the Hogan brand, with my image and likeness.

This isn’t Hulk’s first foray into the restaurant business, having once owned a short-lived joint called “Pasta Mania” in Minnesota’s Mall of America.

The new restaurant will have a “mechanical shark ride,” which sounds like a mechanical bull, but you know, a shark. To go along with the beach theme, there’s volleyball courts, fire pits, cabanas, tiki huts and cabanas.

And naturally, Hulk wants to turn his new restaurant into another reality show with his family having already been featured on VH1’s Hogan Knows Best from 2005-2007…


Australian swimmer says she wants to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Scary,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 6:53 pm

Another swimmer has stepped up to tackle the perpetually vexing Cuba-to-Florida swim.

1sT941_St_56Australian distance swimmer Chloe McCardel announced this weekend that she plans to try to swim from Havana to Key West in June 2013 — without a shark cage.

If she makes it, McCardel would be the first to swim the approximately 105 miles without a cage enclosing her.

“We can show it can be done,” McCardel said Sunday in a telephone interview. “It’s not just a dream.”

The 27-year-old follows in the path of several who have tried before, including Diana Nyad, an American swimmer who has tried the daunting trek — also without a shark cage — several times but has yet to make it all the way.

waI6M_St_56McCardel already has quite a distance-swimming résumé. She has crossed the English Channel several times, including two double crossings. She won the 2010 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

But, if she pulls off this challenge, she would be the first to do it without significant help.

For decades, the journey — filled with waves, sharks and jellyfish — has attracted ambitious distance swimmers.  The trek has such a fearsome reputation, McCardel said, that her mother nearly fainted when she heard the news about her daughter’s new goal.

“This one particular swim is probably the most high-profile swim the world at the moment,” McCardel said.

Nyad tried the trek for the first time in 1978, with a shark cage. She tried twice without a shark cage in 2011 and again in 2012.

Australian Susie Maroney successfully swam the Florida Straits in 1997, but she used a shark cage.

In June, another Australian, Penny Palfrey, made it 79 miles toward Florida without a cage before strong currents forced her to abandon the try.

Now comes McCardel, who calls the swim her New Year’s resolution.

McCardel’s team said she would make the trip wearing a basic bathing suit and without outside help, such as snorkels or flippers. She also won’t be touching a boat or another person during her swim.

McCardel has been talking to jellyfish experts in Australia, she said, to devise tactics to avoid the creatures.

Her team also plans to have a shark conservationist on hand during the swim.

To prepare, there is a lot of training involved; efficiency, not speed, is key in distance swimming, McCardel said.

She also hopes to use the attention her swim generates to raise money for cancer research.

. Her swim already has private sponsorship covering its costs.

McCardel said she swam competitively as a teenager but wasn’t good enough to make the Australian national team. She tried other sports, including triathlons, but eventually fell in love with marathon swimming.

There’s always a new challenge, she says, to push herself to go further each time.

“It’s not about a race between me and someone else,” she said.

“It’s about pushing the boundaries of marathon swimming.”

McCardel’s team is asking for experienced kayakers to volunteer and help with her swim. If interested, more information is  here.


Under a new law, it may or may not be legal to flash your headlights to warn drivers about speed traps

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Controversy,WTF? — floridaduh @ 6:48 pm

Flashing your headlights to alert oncoming drivers that police are lurking on the roadside ahead will no longer be illegal in Florida, though a lawyer who has represented ticketed motorists says a new law legalizing the practice still has loopholes.

imagesA provision legalizing such speed trap warnings is part of a wide-ranging motor vehicle law taking effect Tuesday with the new year. Other changes range from allowing homeless people to get free state identification cards to creating a pair of new specialty license plates. It also would for the first time permit the state to issue specialty driver licenses and ID cards.

Oviedo attorney J. Marcus Jones, who has helped headlight-blinking motorists get their tickets dismissed, said the new law doesn’t go far enough.

“The action of the Legislature in our belief fell short,” Jones said.

By the time the law was passed in March, the Florida Highway Patrol already had ordered state troopers to stop issuing tickets for high-beam flashing after being hit with a lawsuit Jones filed on behalf of Erich Campbell.

The St. Petersburg College student from Land O’ Lakes was cited for violating an existing law that says “flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles” except for turn signals.

The lawsuit contends the Highway Patrol had been misinterpreting that provision in Florida’s traffic code because it was meant only to ban drivers from having strobes or official-looking emergency vehicle lights on their cars and trucks.

To clear up any ambiguity, the new law amends that provision to specifically allow motorists to flash their headlights at an oncoming vehicle regardless of intent.

A Pinellas County judge dismissed Campbell’s $115 ticket, but his lawsuit is in trouble.

Another judge in Tallahassee ruled it’s a moot issue because of the new law. Jones, though, has asked Circuit Judge Kevin Carroll to reconsider because of the loopholes he believes it contains.

Jones said police still can use other sections of Florida’s traffic code to ticket motorists for flashing their headlights. Those provisions include prohibitions against using high beams within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle or within 300 feet of a vehicle ahead. The new exception for flashing headlights doesn’t apply to those parts of the traffic code, Jones said.

If he can get Judge Carroll to change his mind, Jones then could seek class-action status and try to get refunds for an estimated 2,400 motorists who paid fines for flashing their high beams between 2005 and 2010.

“That would be a tough battle,” Jones said. “We’re trying to determine what to do next.”

The new law also will create additional specialty tags for Vietnam War veterans and those who have won the Combat Infantry Badge.

Florida for years has had dozens of specialty plates to raise money for purposes including scientific research, education and charities.

Now, Florida has a new revenue-raising opportunity through specialty driver licenses and ID cards honoring public and private universities, professional sports teams and all branches of the military. There will be an additional fee of $25, with half going to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the other half to designated public or private organizations.

The new law also allows the department to use email instead of the U.S. Postal Service to send out driver license renewal notices; creates plates for retired governors and federal and state lawmakers; and repeals a provision that says school buses can go no more than 55 miles an hour even if the speed limit is higher.

It also would prohibit swamp buggies from operating on state roadways unless permitted to do so by local governments and allow golf carts to drive on sidewalks that are at least 5 feet wide alongside state highways.

Two other laws also are going into effect. The Florida Safe Harbor Act is designed to protect and provide shelter for sexually exploited children.

It includes provisions that require police to turn over to the Department of Children and Families any children who are alleged to be sexually exploited or dependent for assessment and possible shelter. The department can then place such a child in a safe house if one is available. The new law also has requirements for safe houses.

Another provision increases civil penalties from $500 to $5,000 for some violations related to prostitution. It directs $4,500 of every fine going to the department to fund safe houses and short-term safe houses. The remaining $500 will go, as it now does, for treatment-based drug court programs.

Another law requires mortgage holders to release mortgage information to record title property owners.


Sofia Vergara vamps it up in cutout suit in Miami

Filed under: Amazing,Sexual Exposure — floridaduh @ 6:43 pm

‘Tis the season… for stars who, wisely or not, lounge in vacation bikinis, showing off their dreamy destinations and their, uh, not-so-humble assets (Exhibit A: Jessica Simpson).


And then there’s Exhibit B: Sofia Vergara, who goes a step further and sports a cutout suit that few 30-year-olds could pull off, let alone 40-year-olds. In a photo she posted to her WhoSay account Thursday, she’s standing hand on hip on a boat in Miami, grinning slyly. The caption? “Holyday!”


Her fans are having a field day in the comments:

“More like Hottieday.” – Taelor Johnson

“wrap it up i’ll take it!!!!!” – Jeff Gibbons

“I am speechless.” – rmesa


Husband uses GPS to track teacher having sex with teen

A 38-year-old teacher at a Christian Academy in Florida was arrested for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old student after her  husband tracked her down to a secluded area through GPS signals from her cellphone, The  St. Lucie  News Tribune reported Monday.


Amie Lou Neely, who teaches at Community Christian Academy in Stuart, Fla., was arrested Sunday on a felony sexual assault charge, the newspaper reported.

The teenager told police that he drove the couple to a secluded area by West Centennial High about a half-mile from Neely’s house on Saturday morning where they engaged in sex, WPTV-TV reported.

Neely’s husband, using GPS capability of his wife’s cellphone, walked up on the car about 10 a.m., the News Tribune reported.

Neely explained to police that the 16-year-old, with whom she had  been intimate on several occasions at her home, had kept asking for sex.

Noting “midlife crisis feelings,” Neely told police, she thought that if she had sex with the teenager he would stop asking, the newspaper reported.


It’s not the best idea to call and engage lawmen if your holding drugs

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Drugs,Really Dumb,WTF? — floridaduh @ 6:36 pm

A Marathon man was arrested Saturday for possessing a large amount of marijuana after he called the Sheriff’s Office to complain about his neighbors.

Earlier in the day, Deputy Anthony O’Dea responded to Keys RV Park to a call of suspicious activity. Neighbors of 77 year old Michael Csernik said they believed Csernik was selling drugs because there were lots of vehicles coming and going at Csernik’s residence at lot 83W. Deputy O’Dea attempted to make contact with Csernik, but no one answered the door.
About an hour later, Csernik himself called the Sheriff’s Office and Deputy O’Dea responded. Csernik told the deputy he was upset because his neighbors were taking pictures of cars coming and going from his home. When the deputy asked Csernik why he had so many people stopping at his residence, Csernik said he has a lot of friends.
Deputy O’Dea asked Csernik for permission to search his residence. Csernik consented to the search, signing a “Consent to Search” form. His 51 year old son, who was sitting on the porch, also agreed to the search and also signed a form giving permission.
Inside the residence, the deputy found three zip lock bags of marijuana in the living room. Seven more bags of marijuana were found in the bedroom, along with a scale for weighing the drug. Total weight of the marijuana was 110 grams.
In Csernik’s front pocket, the deputy found $1,363.00 in cash. The cash was seized as proceeds from suspected drug sales.
Csernik said all the drugs and paraphernalia belonged to him and his son had no knowledge of any of it. Csernik was arrested. He was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of a felony amount of marijuana (over 20 grams) and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into jail.

Unusual plea deal: Mom agreed to no more kids in child neglect case

A 30-year-old Winter Haven woman facing child neglect charges accepted a plea deal Friday after a judge insisted on attaching some unique strings to the agreement.

sfl-unusual-plea-deal-20121230-001Circuit Judge Ernest M. Jones Jr. wanted Kimberly Lightsey to not have any more children as a condition of her probation and house arrest.

“What’s the matter?” the judge asked Lightsey. “You don’t agree with that? You looked back at your boyfriend. Is that something you all have planned?”

“In a couple years, after we get everything settled, because he doesn’t have any children,” Lightsey replied.

“But you’ve got four of them,” the judge said.

Lightsey was arrested in October 2011 after police say she left her four children alone at a hotel.

The children ranged in age from a 1-year-old to an 11-year-old. One child had significant medical conditions, including epilepsy, cerebral palsy and brain damage, reports state.

A guest called police after finding one child strapped into an overturned stroller in a hotel hallway.

At the time, Lightsey was serving four years of probation after pleading no contest to child abuse. She was charged with hitting her 6-year-old son in the face with a belt in 2009.

To settle her child neglect and violation of probation cases, Lightsey agreed Friday to the judge’s unusual condition.

She pleaded no contest to two counts of child neglect.

She was sentenced to two years of house arrest, 13 years of probation and 100 hours of community service. She was ordered to not have unsupervised contact with minors.

In October 2011, the Department of Children and Families placed her children in the custody of relatives.

The judge agreed that Lightsey could have more children in the future if she is able to fulfill various conditions of her probation and successfully petitions the court to remove the “no unsupervised contact with minors” clause.


Disney World worker charged with child porn possession, distribution December 30, 2012

A 28-year-old Walt Disney  World employee was charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography and  four counts of distribution of child pornography.

c0imIN5lByih1piV42mNLjl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVaiQDB_Rd1H6kmuBWtceBJAgents with the Florida  Department of Law Enforcement arrested Ruben Ferrer at his home Wednesday  morning on Meadowvale Drive in Orlando.

Investigators found  several full-length videos and images of child pornography on his computer,  police said. They said when they arrested Ferrer, his computer was in the  process of downloading illegal images.

“As early as this morning,  Mr. Ferrer was downloading child porn and sharing it,” said Jeff Duncan, with  FDLE.

The FDLE said Ferrer is a  boat driver at Disney World.

A neighbor told WESH 2  that children live in Ferrer’s home.

The lead agent on the case  says the Department of Children and Families will interview the children to make  sure they were not exploited in any of the illegal porn.

Ferrer was booked with no  bond. He is on unpaid leave from Disney.


Man Charged With Sexually Battering His Girlfriend And Killing Her Hamsters

A Hollywood man has been arrested on charges he sexually battered his girlfriend and tormented her by killing her hamsters, police say.


Joseph Gibbons-Nix, 35, was taken into custody Wednesday on multiple counts of aggravated assault, domestic battery by strangulation, sexual assault and animal cruelty charges, records show.

Gibbons-Nix and his girlfriend have lived together as a couple for seven years, an arrest report said. Gibbons-Nix “intentionally caused bodily harm and forced [the woman] by threat to engage in sexual activities against her will,” the report said.

He kept demanding oral sex, to which she didn’t agree, said Hollywood police spokesman Sgt. Lester Cochenour.

When she gave in to his demands, he complained that she was “not doing it right,” and punched her in the head, face and arms, police said. He also bit her twice, the police report said.

The domestic strangulation charges stemmed from the woman’s near-strangulation, police said. She said that her boyfriend several times “strangled her where her airway was completely blocked and she felt she was going to lose consciousness,” the arrest report said.

Gibbons-Nix also told her that her hamsters were “ungodly creatures,” the report said.

He picked up the smaller of the two hamsters and forcefully threw the hamster on the floor, killing it instantly, the report said. He killed the second hamster by throwing it and striking it with a shoe, the report said.

The woman was abused over several days, the report said. But Wednesday, the woman had gotten so worried that her boyfriend would kill her, she told him she was leaving the apartment to get coffee, the report said. She walked to a gas station and phoned police.



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