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The Bizarre World of Florida

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.

 

Just because you think your kid is acting like a little shit doesn’t mean you get to use a plunger on him February 24, 2014

A Brooksville man was arrested Thursday after a Florida Department of Children and Families investigation revealed he allegedly struck a child on the thigh with the wooden handle of a plunger.

untitledWalter Charles Allen Jr., 33, of Moon Road, was charged with one count of cruelty toward a child without great bodily harm.

An arrest report shows Allen admitted to striking the child because he was upset with the child, lost his temper and did not mean to hit the child that hard with the handle.

The arrest report contained redacted information because of the child’s age and did not specify Allen’s relationship to the child.

He was held at the Hernando County Jail on $500 bond, jail records show.

Jail records also show Allen has been arrested several times in Hernando County in the past for probation violation and a traffic offense.

 

Dad nabbed for his 5th DUI — this time, with 3 kids in car January 31, 2014

sfl-flduh-dad-dui-kids-20140129-001A 38-year-old father was arrested on his fifth DUI charge while driving with three kids in the car, police said.

Brian Whittemore’s field sobriety test was caught on camera.

Lake Mary police said 38-year-old Whittemore was spotted outside a liquor store with a child hanging out of the car. Three children were in the car at the time, but only one of the children was Whittemore’s.

“It was my wife’s birthday. Bringing the kids home. I’m just trying to get home, that’s it. I got three kids in the car, screaming and yelling. It is what it is,” Whittemore said.

Sources tell WESH 2 Whittemore was previously arrested for DUI in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2012. He’s also been accused of driving with a suspended license and two counts of assault.

Investigators said he put lives in danger with this latest run-in with the law.

“You’re talking about small children. You’re going to drive around with small kids in the car. They aren’t strapped in. They are not seat-belted in,” said Zachary Hudson, Lake Mary Police Department spokesman. “If you get in an accident, those kids are going to go out the windows. That would be tragic. That’s unacceptable.”

 

 
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