floridaduh

The Bizarre World of Florida

Girl, 4, and her toddler brother found wandering alone near a busy road…and the parents ‘can’t see what the fuss is about’ July 26, 2014

A woman discovered two children near a daycare center’s dumpster on Tuesday – and their father was nowhere to be found.

article-2706043-1FFB5F8B00000578-80_634x692Veena Iyer told Boca Raton officers she saw the boy, 1, and girl, 4, walking around Tuesday afternoon before she contacted authorities, according to an affidavit obtained by MailOnline.

‘It should be noted this area is next to a public roadway,’ the affidavit said.

Iyer told police the children took her to their family’s home – but their parents were not there.

‘They were in their pajamas, no shoes, nothing, seemed very tired and hungry,’ Iyer told WPBF. ‘I said, “Who is watching you?” and [the girl] said, “Nobody.” I asked her, ‘Where is your dad?’ She said, “I don’t know. He took my mom to work.”‘

Father Stanley Fitzpatrick, 41,  was eventually found by Boca Raton police officers and told them he took his wife to a bus stop before he stopped to talk with a friend, according to the affidavit.

The children’s mother told a WPBF crew of the situation ‘It’s not really that serious. ‘The cameraman [is] supposed to come out if the child drowns, if the child was severe hurt. They were not hurt. They did not drown.’

The affidavit revealed the family’s home was in ‘substandard conditions.’

‘[Officers] observed moldy food in the refrigerator, the dishwasher left open with dishes and knives in it, and there were no locks on the cabinets,’ it said.

Officers also reportedly only found 4 diapers in the home and discovered the children slept on a mattress together on the floor.

It also alleged that the 1-year-old boy ‘had such bad diaper rash that he was flinching when officers changed his diaper.’

Fitzpatrick was arrested on two counts of child neglect, police said.

 

DUI suspect had 3 kids in the bed of his pickup June 25, 2014

A man was arrested in Jupiter on Monday after police said he drove drunk with three kids in the bed of his truck, sped away from police, hit a bicyclist and then resisted arrest, according to an arrest report.

sfl-flduh-dui-kids-bed-pickup-20140624-001Jupiter police said Brian Ferguson, 34, was driving with three children ranging from 9 to 16 in the bed of his truck about 5 p.m. Monday in Jupiter near U.S. 1 and A1A.

Another driver saw Ferguson driving the truck erratically in the parking lot of Brix Restaurant, 1000 N. U.S. 1, and became alarmed after she saw a boy pop his head out from the bed of the truck.

She called 911 and tried to position herself in front of the truck, but the driver of the truck got around her and traveled west on East Indiantown Road, according to the report.

When police caught up with him, they said they tried to pull him over. He slowed for a second, but took off, police said. They chased briefly, but the officer stopped because he said he was afraid the children in the back of the truck might get hurt in a police pursuit.

The officer kept his sights on where Ferguson was going, and followed him along Indiantown Road. Shortly after stopping his chase, the officer said he saw smoke and a vehicle that was not Ferguson’s with heavy damage.

The officer also saw a person on the ground next to a bicycle. A witness told police they saw a truck make a sharp turn, which caused damage to the other vehicle and caused the bicyclist to be hurt.

Around the corner, the officer saw Ferguson’s truck crashed into a fence, and three boys — ages 9, 12, and 16 — still in the bed of the truck, according to the report. Ferguson was nowhere to be seen.

Police called for a K-9 unit to track Ferguson, according to the report. He was found about 50 feet away hiding in a bush. The K-9 bit him when he resisted, according to the report.

Meanwhile, officers were getting the story from the children as to how they ended up in Ferguson’s truck. One of the boys said he knew Ferguson, but didn’t say from where. He told police Ferguson offered to drive him and his friends to a bridge off U.S. 1 so they could jump off into the water below.

While they were at the bridge, Ferguson drank about four Four Loko’s — an alcoholic beverage — and told the kids to get in the back of the truck. One of the boys said when police started following Ferguson, he sped off.

The children had minor bruises and were transported to the hospital.

Ferguson was also taken to the Jupiter Medical Center, where his blood was drawn. Ferguson’s blood-alcohol content, according to the report, was a .33. The legal limit in Florida is.08.

Ferguson is charged with child abuse, DUI, fleeing officers and resisting arrest, among other charges. He is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bail.

 

Man shoots son multiple times on Father’s Day June 16, 2014

 

As an 18-year-old man ran from his New Smyrna Beach house bleeding from four gunshot wounds, his father stepped outside, pointed a handgun and fired one more shot, police said.

Eugene Blackwell Sr. shot his son Eugene Blackwell Jr. at 6:34 p.m. on Father’s Day while the two were inside their Edward Street home, New Smyrna Beach Sgt. Eugene Griffith said.

The final shot missed the fleeing teen.

The younger Blackwell, who just graduated from New Smyrna Beach High where he was a star weightlifter, had just broken up a fight between his father and his mother, Windy Blackwell, Griffith said, and the elder Blackwell was not pleased with the interference.

“He shot his son four times,” Griffith said Monday morning. “It escalated after the mother left the house.”

The elder Blackwell was arrested early Monday and is charged with attempted first-degree murder. He was being held without bail Monday at the Volusia County Branch Jail.

Neighbor Richard Tredeaux told investigators that after he heard the initial gunfire coming from the Blackwell house, he then saw Blackwell Jr. running from the residence. Tredeaux said he saw Blackwell Sr. emerge from the home and point something at the teenager. He heard another gunshot and then the elder Blackwell yelled out, “Yeah (expletive deleted) how do you like that?” the arrest report states.

Griffith said Blackwell Jr. was airlifted to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach in critical condition. He was listed in satisfactory condition on Monday, said Tangela Boyd, hospital spokeswoman.

 

Omar Monserrate Accused Of Beating Up Teen For “Fooling Around” With His Daughter June 14, 2014

 An Altamonte Springs man is facing serious charges, accused of beating up a 14-year-old boy.

Omar-MonserrateInvestigators said Omar Monserrate punched and choked the teen because he was found with Monserrate’s 13-year-old daughter.

Detectives said the girl snuck out of her house to meet the boy, but was caught when she returned home.

According to reports, Monserrate and the girl’s mother went to the boy’s home, and Monserrate demanded to speak to him alone.

He drove the boy to Brantley Terrace, where he allegedly began yelling at the boy and choked him until he passed out.

When the boy regained consciousness they both got back in the car and went to the boy’s home, according to reports.

The boy’s mother came home, noticed bruises on his face and neck, and rushed the boy to the hospital.

Monserrate has a criminal history, including domestic violence.

 

Because Florida isn’t weird enough, man declares himself a sovereign state June 5, 2014

crime-law-jpgA judge has ordered a Central Florida man to enroll his 8-year-old daughter in school.

The man is claiming he is a sovereign state and not bound by U.S. laws.

Joseph Rosa, 37, refused to answer questions during his trial Monday.

Social workers said that the girl stopped attending school last year. During visits to the house, Rosa and his wife never showed proof that their daughter was attending a private school or being home-schooled.

The circuit court judge said Rosa cannot deprive his daughter of an education. He faces up to 180 days in jail if she is late or has any more unexcused absences.

Rosa was in jail on a $1,000 bond for reportedly giving officials a false name.

 

What’s a busy dad to do when he has a schedule conflict — probation meetup versus childcare? May 30, 2014

A New Smyrna Beach man is charged with child neglect after police say he went to a probation meeting and left his child home alone.

sfl-flduh-probation-meeting-20140528-001David Kirkham, 42, left for his meeting shortly before 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and arrived back home three hours later to find officers in his driveway, according to a New Smyrna Beach police report.

Kirkham is serving three years of federal probation after pleading guilty to tax evasion in Maryland, court records show.

The boy’s mother told Kirkham she would not be able to watch their 7-year-old son Tuesday morning, and when she drove by Kirkham’s home later, she didn’t see his car in the driveway or the car belonging to the resident of the efficiency apartment in the backyard, according to the report. Shortly before 11:30 a.m., police made contact with the boy, who confirmed he was home alone.

Kirkham’s explanation to police of why his son was alone was redacted from the report.

Kirkham, who could not be reached Wednesday, was released from the Volusia County Branch Jail after posting $2,500 bail, records show.

 

If you’re going to manufacture crack in your home, don’t store the materials on the same shelf as the baby formula May 3, 2014

A couple is behind bars, accused of leaving cocaine powder near baby formula and a gun atop a board game in a child’s room, according to an arrest report read aloud in court.

sfl-pembroke-pines-drug-arrests-photo-20140501Farah Pierre-Louis, 30, and Nerlls Jonca, 31, were arrested Wednesday when police found an apparent drug lab in the couple’s home, the report stated.

Pierre-Louis is charged with cocaine trafficking, manufacturing and aggravated child abuse. Jonca is facing similar charges, plus possession of a weapon by a violent career criminal. Both were being held without bond, Broward jail records show.

At her first court appearance Thursday, Pierre-Louis said that she has three children, including a 1-month-old girl with Jonca.

“[The baby girl] lives in the residence with you and the items in the kitchen cabinet and counter used to manufacture crack cocaine were in the same vicinity as the baby’s formula,” Broward Judge John “Jay” Hurley said, reading from the arrest report.

A loaded handgun was found in her 10-year-old daughter’s bedroom closet on top of a children’s board game, Hurley said. “That’s extremely serious,” Hurley said.

At Jonca’s court appearance, Hurley pointed out the length and severity of Jonca’s criminal history and the seriousness of the new charges. “So you’re going to face double the punishment on all these matters,” the judge said.

The children were placed in protective custody with the state, officials said.

 

Dad uses son, 2, as human shield to avoid arresting officer April 8, 2014

sfl-dad-uses-son-2-to-stop-officer-from-arrest-001A Brevard County man used his 2-year-old child to shield himself from an officer trying to arrest him on shoplifting charges, according to a report.

Edward L. Smathers Jr., 39, has been charged with grand theft, aggravated child neglect, resisting an officer and probation violation in the Sunday afternoon incident.

Melbourne police say Smathers took $500 worth of items from Home Depot on Wickham Road, put them down the front of his pants and walked out of the store without paying.

When Smathers was confronted by an officer, police say he tried to push past the officer and go back to his vehicle. According to the report, as the officer was attempting to arrest Smathers, Smathers picked up his 2-year-old child from the backseat to prevent the officer from putting him under arrest.

Samthers was then arrested and later said that he was using his son to prevent the officer from arresting him.

 

Mother made her children regurgitate food and then eat it again, held her children’s heads underwater and pretty much tortured them for 8 years March 29, 2014

A mother starved, beat and tortured her two-16-year-old children for more than eight years, police have said.

Jamie Marie Hicks, 43, allegedly inflicted cruelty on the two children at her home in North Tampa, Florida while their stepfather, 53-year-old Vernon Courtney Lovell, looked on and did nothing.

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Arrested: Jamie Hicks, left, has been accused of abusing her two 16-year-old children for more than eight years, while her husband Vernon Lovell, right, allegedly knew about the abuse but did nothing to help them

She hit them with various objects, choked them to the point of unconsciousness and held their heads under water, according to a police report reported in the Tampa Bay Times.

She also withheld food from them for up to three days at a time, they told police, and on other occasions, she fed them spoiled food or made them regurgitate food and then eat it again.

The alleged abuse came to light when the children went to Mary Lee’s House, a nonprofit child protection organization, where they told child advocates about what they had endured.

The children, whose genders have not been released, said their mother abused them while their stepfather failed to seek medical attention, even though he was aware of the abuse.

A pediatric nurse carried out a physical examination of the children on Thursday and found signs of severe malnutrition and both were hospitalized, according to police.

One of the children weighed 88 pounds and the other weighed 94 pounds, whereas a healthy weight for their age is 135 pounds.

Lovell has lived with Hicks and the children for 13 years, the report said.

Both are being held without bail.

Hicks, who worked as manager of her husband’s handyman services company, was being held in the Hillsborough County Jail on Friday on aggravated child abuse charges.

Lovell also remains in the jail and faces accusations of child neglect.

 

Teenage girl hosted a wild alcohol-fueled party that saw 5 teens taken to the hospital while dad slept! March 17, 2014

article-2582126-1C5876E900000578-586_306x423Five teenagers were rushed to hospital from an alcohol fueled party thrown by a teenage girl – while her father claimed he slept through it all.

Two of the teens are said to be in a critical condition with reports they had mixed alcohol with the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.

Neighbors saw the teens being wheeled away on gurneys into waiting ambulances while dozens of others teens fled when police arrived.

Steve Miller, whose teen daughter hosted the party and was among those rushed to hospital, told local TV he was asleep while as many as 100 people crammed into his home.

Miller, a father of six, claimed he had no idea there would be alcohol at the party – but did not say if he had checked.

He insisted he slept through all the noise as 100 teens flocked to his home in Winter Garden, Florida.

‘If my daughter told me they were going to have alcohol I wouldn’t have permitted it,’Miller said.

‘I didn’t see any drugs.’

Police said the teenagers taken to hospital had passed out from drink but fear they may have also taken drugs.

‘We found five teenagers who appeared to have overdosed on alcohol and we are not sure of what type of drug right now,’said Lt. Paul Hopkins from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said they spotted numerous underage kids partying at the home.

They said one was unconscious and five were sickened, apparently from drinking too much alcohol.

The victims were boys and girls between the ages of 15 and 17.

Neighbors were stunned by the scenes in their road on Friday night and said they were kept awake by the noise.

‘I’ve been living here 30 years, and I’ve never really seen anything going on over there. It just surprises me. I’m like, ‘Wow.’ Hopefully, the kids  are going to be OK,’ a neighbor said.

Deputies said the conditions of the teens had improved over the weekend and they said the parents apparently didn’t know someone had brought alcohol  into the home.

Doreen Blume said Miller’s daughter was one of the hospitalized teens.

Blume said Miller did the right thing.

‘He confiscated all kinds of alcohol, big bottles,’ Blume said.

Other neighbors said deputies have been to the home before.

The Department of Children and Families has launched an investigation because of concerns about alcohol and supervision.

 

 
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