The Bizarre World of Florida

Report: Oops, homeowner led authorities to his own grow house April 18, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Controversy,Drugs,Dumb,Florida Nut,Really Dumb,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:21 pm

An Orange County homeowner called the power company to report a problem, and ended up leading them straight to a major marijuana grow house, authorities said.

gh4Investigators said they carried out more than 100 pot plants from the home in the Canyon Ridge subdivision near Clarcona-Ocoee Road.

When Channel 9’s Kristyn Caddell went to the home, the odor of marijuana was so pungent, she could smell it from across the street.

Investigators were at the home all night Wednesday removing the plants from the top floor of the home.

They said there was so much marijuana in the home, that there was very little living space.

gh2“They were actually remodeling the back room into another grow operation, which was going to be even larger,” said Robert white with the Corporal Narcotics Tip Squad.

Neighbors watched in awe as the plants were being carried out.

Norm Pozzie said he never noticed the pungent smell, but did see a lot of expensive cars and well-dressed people stopping by the house on a regular basis.

When the homeowner called the power company to report an electrical short, officials with Duke Energy noticed the lines had been tampered with.

The man was allegedly running some illegal power to the home to run his grow house, but it shorted out his power.

“We know who lives here, we know who paid for everything and we know who set it up,” White said.

Investigators said they will be putting out a warrant for the man’s arrest.


Man describes “pounding sensation” he felt after being bitten by a poisonous snake, admits to being quite rattled April 17, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Interesting,Scary,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 7:02 pm

fl-survives-water-moccasi-1-jpg-20140416An avid outdoorsman, Ryan Toogood fishes for sharks in the Atlantic, hikes alligator habitat in the Everglades and even owns a pair of snake-proof boots.

But he was wearing flip-flops when he stopped to stretch his legs on a drive across Alligator Alley, and that was all the opening a poisonous water moccasin needed to bite the side of his right big toe.

“‘Wow!’ I remembered thinking,” the 29-year-old Boynton Beach man said Wednesday. “‘This hurts like hell, but that’s a cool-looking snake.’”

Toogood said that despite pain that felt “like someone driving a nail through my toe and pounding on my foot at the same time,” he stayed calm enough to pull his smartphone from his pocket and snap a picture of the reptile.

The snake, with mouth open, was hissing at him, Toogood said.

Toogood’s agonizing adventure began about 6:45 p.m. Saturday at a rest area of Big Cypress National Preserve as he and his girlftriend, Kate Walsh, were returning to their home from a fishing trip to Naples.

Hobbling back to his car just 20 feet away, Toogood slipped behind the wheel and told Walsh, “A snake just bit me on the big toe,” he said.

At that point, he said he did not know what kind of snake it was.

Toogood said he thought he could complete the drive home.  But as soon as he put his foot on the pedal, a surge of pain made him realize he needed help, Toogood said.

Walsh dialed 911, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue arrived within minutes. They looked at Toogood’s foot, forwarded the picture of the snake to the Miami-Dade Venom Response Unit, and called for a fire-rescue helicopter.

“That’s what made me the most anxious,” said Toogood, who also is an insulin-dependent diabetic. “They don’t airlift you unless it’s serious.”

Checking his monitor, Toogood said he could see his blood-sugar levels spiking.

An ambulance took him down Interstate 75 to a helicopter. It was the first chopper ride of his life, and soon he was in the emergency room at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston.

Waiting at the hospital with the Venom Response Unit paramedics was someone Toogood recognized from television: Capt. Jeffrey Fobb, who has appeared on Animal Planet’s “Swamp Wars.”

“I was star-struck right off the bat,” Toogood said. “He was a calming presence who helped take my mind off things.”

Toogood was treated with several doses of antivenin during his hospital stay.

The Venom Response Unit responds to about 20 to 30 poisonous snakebite calls each year, Fobb said.

Fobb praised Toogood as an excellent patient, “aware of his health issues, aware of his pain level, calm enough to tell us what’s going on.”

After two nights in the hospital Toogood returned home Monday. The swelling in his foot is down, as is the pain, but walking still hurts, said Toogood, a New Jersey native who studied law at the University of Miami. Both he and Walsh are attorneys with a West Palm Beach firm.

He said heexpects to be back in the office next week.

“The whole thing has been surreal,” he said of the past four days. “I would characterize this as an unfortunate accident. I was wearing flip-flops in the Everglades, and even though the snake bit me on a patch of grass that had just been mowed, it is his territory.”

Many have asked Toogood if he killed the snake, which Fobb said was likely a juvenile.

“No, I didn’t kill the snake,” Toogood said. “I hope it lives a long and healthy life and gets a lot bigger. I sort of like the idea that there is a snake out there that got me good.”


Woman with heroin, needles arrested after leaving $50 at gas station April 16, 2014

Accidently leaving a $50 bill on a gas-station counter was the least of one woman’s concerns Tuesday morning.

sfl-flduh-drug-gas-station-20140415-001Christina Hines, 30, had heroin and hypodermic needles in her Honda and was driving on a suspended license. And ever since she left the gas station, a patrol car had been on her tail.

That’s because the deputy simply wanted to do a good deed by returning the cash. Hines was arrested after leading officers on a pursuit and speeding over a tire-flattening device near U.S. Highway 17-92 and State Road 436, a report said.

She is being held in the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford on charges of resisting an officer, heroin possession, driving while license suspended and possession of drug-use equipment.

The incident started around 3 a.m. at a gas station on S.R. 436 in Casselberry, a report said.

A deputy saw a clerk run out after Hines after she left the bill. But she drove off without the cash.

The deputy went after Hines, caught up with her, ran her tags and turned on his patrol lights, prompting her to drive away and sparking the pursuit.


‘Blood moon’ teens toked on pot bong on school rooftop pocket-dialed 911

Filed under: Bad Luck,Controversy,Drugs,Dumb,Funny,OK Then .....,Really Dumb,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 7:00 pm

Tsfl-flduh-blood-moom-20140415-001hey could see a red glow over the Ocala school.

But it wasn’t the ‘blood moon” that crossed the Earth’s shadow early today.

It was the flame from a lighter three teens were using to fire up a bong during a total-lunar eclipse party.

Was the bust the result of some epic celestial bummer? You decide.

Deputies were tipped off when one of the kids pocket-dialed 911.

The teens, ages 15 to 16, were arrested after they were found on the roof of Horizon Academy at 365 Marion Oaks Drive just after 1 a.m.

“Apparently, the teenagers were on the rooftop to watch the lunar blood moon eclipse,” Judge Cochran, a spokesman for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, said in a statement.

A report said deputies “could see three people smoking what appeared to be some sort of bong and passing the object between each other. Plus, deputies could see a glow from a lighter.”

Deputies found a homemade marijuana smoking pipe and marijuana inside a plastic container.

All three teens are facing these misdemeanor charges: trespassing on school grounds, use or possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana possession not more than 20 grams.

Patrol units responded to a 911 hang-up from the school campus just after 1 a.m.

“One of the juvenile defendants may have pocket-dialed a cell phone and called 911,” Cochran added.


Officials kill five random bears after last week’s bear attack. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED April 15, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,OK Then .....,Scary,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 8:03 pm

After a bear mauled a woman in the driveway of her suburban Florida home, dragging her four feet before she escaped, wildlife officials said Monday that they had killed five of the animals, who had become dangerously accustomed to humans.

It was unclear whether the bear that attacked Terri Frana, 45, on Saturday was one of those killed. DNA and other tests will be done on the five animals — one shot and four euthanized — in an attempt to determine that, officials said. .


Frana, 45, said the bear had her head in its mouth and dragged her about 4 feet toward a wooded area.

“She opened her jaw and clamped down onto my head, and I could just hear her teeth marks,” Frana told WFTV-TV.

She managed to escape from the bear’s jaw, and then ran inside the house, where she collapsed.

She was treated at a hospital and released.

All five bears were “highly habituated,” Florida Fish and Wildlife officer Greg Workman said during a news conference Monday. “They had no fear of humans, making them dangerous bears,” he said. “We’re erring on the side of public safety.”

Lake Mary is an upscale community about halfway between Orlando and Daytona Beach. Workman called that the entire area in and around Lake Mary “prime bear country.”

“We’re going to be out here until we feel that the area is safe from these bears,” he said.

In December, a woman was attacked by bears while walking her dogs in Longwood, about five miles from Lake Mary. She suffered facial injuries and was hospitalized.

Frana was afraid the bears were going after her two young children Saturday evening, said her husband, Frank Frana.

Her 10-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son had just left the house Saturday night when she saw five bears scurry toward the garage. She walked down the driveway to look for her children.

“One of the bears stood up, knocked her down, and started to maul her,” Frank Frana said. “She has 30 staples in her head, 10 stitches in her head, lacerations, and claw marks on her back.”

Neighbors said that they are worried for their safety and that they’ve recently spotted several bears in the area.

Experts say this is the time of the year when bears leave their winter dens.


Man watching alligator bitten by snake off Alligator Alley April 14, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Scary,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 12:44 pm

A Boynton Beach man who stepped out of his car off I-75, also known as Alligator Alley, to get a glimpse of an alligator ended up getting bitten by a poisonous snake.

The 29-year-old man survived after being bitten on the foot by a pit viper about 7:10 p.m. Saturday. He and his girlfriend had stopped to check out an alligator at Mile Marker 49 on I-75 eastbound, said Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles. The girlfriend was not injured. The area where he was bitten was coincidentally near Snake Road.

The man, who was not identified was airlifted to the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, where he was met by officials with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Venom Response Bureau.

The pit viper’s venom, according to Miami-Dade’s venom staff, causes severe pain, swelling and bleeding.



Man denied littering, said ‘it was weed’ April 10, 2014

sfl-flduh-littering-weed-20140409-001A man found himself “in the presence of law enforcement” and dropped a bag of marijuana and cocaine, according to information in an arrest report.

An Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy stopped 32-year-old Richard Lynn Roebuck of Fort Walton Beach for littering when he saw him drop a plastic bag beside the road. Roebuck initially denied dropping the plastic bag, then said, “It was weed.”

Roebuck was detained. Deputies found a plastic bag containing marijuana, and 2 feet away they found a cigarette wrapper containing white powder. They also found a plastic bag filled with white powder.

When deputies searched Roebuck he found another plastic bag containing white powder.

The white powder tested positive for cocaine.

Roebuck was charged with possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana.


Kansas man drove nearly non-stop to Florida for sex, used car as toilet

Filed under: Bad Luck,Dumb,Funny,Interesting,OK Then .....,Really Dumb,Sex,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 7:11 pm

sfl-flduh-kansas-sex-bathroom-20140409-001A diminutive traveler from Kansas was in such a hurry to have sex with a teen girl in Longwood, he drove nearly non-stop across the country before his arrest Tuesday, bypassing bathroom breaks, police say.

Christopher Lanning, 40, arrived at a gas station in Longwood in a vehicle that reeked of human waste as part of his plan to have sex with a Seminole County high school student, said Officer Kevin Tuck, a spokesman for the Longwood Police Department.

Instead, the 4-foot, 10-inch Lanning, was arrested on a slew of charges in what the Longwood police department called a “To Catch a Predator” undercover sting.

A bottle of urine was found in Lanning’s vehicle.

“It was pretty bad,” Tuck said Wednesday.

The 90-pound unemployed suspect from Kansas City, Kansas faced a judge Wednesday afternoon during his first court appearance in Sanford.

Lanning asked the judge if he could return home — a request made before the judge had an opportunity to set his bond.

“May I ask a favor?” Lanning asked the court.

Lanning told the judge he is not a flight risk and hasn’t had major trouble with the law.

“I made a major mistake in judgment,” Lanning said.

A Seminole County judge set Lanning’s bond at $15,300. Lanning was ordered to not use the computer or the Internet.

He will be arraigned May 20.

Lanning faces charges ranging from traveling to meet a child for sex and transmitting obscene material to a minor.

Tuck said officers routinely go online to monitor such activity.

The investigation began in March.

“He contacted us,” Tuck said.

Lanning thought he was chatting with a 14-year-old girl. It was really an undercover officer.

He made arrangements to meet what he thought was a Lyman High School girl for sex, Tuck said.

Lanning was arrested after driving to a Shell station at 100 Dog Track Road at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The gas station is next to Lyman High.


Making an long illegal drug run? Then consider minding the code of the road April 8, 2014

 A 22-year-old man was arrested and charged April 1 after a traffic stop in Marion County resulted in deputies finding thousands of pills.

Around 11:35 a.m., deputies spotted Janzel Luis Vega-Cartas driving a black Acura northbound on Interstate 75, near mile-marker 362. Vega-Cartas was not wearing a seat belt, was driving too close to other vehicles, illegally switching lanes and speeded, according to a report.

Once stopped, deputies learned that Vega-Cartas had a suspended driver’s license.

A Marion County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit and another deputy were given permission to search the vehicle, finding 87 hydrocodone pills with a raw weight of 37.1 grams, as well as 2,534 alprazolam pills, according to deputies.

Vega-Cartas admitted to transporting the pills and planned to take the pills from Miami to Kentucky, deputies said.

Vega-Cartas was arrested and charged with trafficking in a schedule II narcotic, possession of schedule IV narcotic with intent to distribute and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

His bond was set at $510,500 on the charges.


Winter Haven CVS drugstore now has drive-in snack bar April 3, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Really Dumb,Bad Luck,Dangerous Nut,WTF?,Scary,Stupid — floridaduh @ 7:19 pm


3457437_GAn elderly woman lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a Winter Haven CVS store, narrowly grazing a customer inside, police said Thursday.

It happened Wednesday afternoon at a location on State Road 540.

The woman driving was 84-year-old Margaret Underwood, police said. She was in a 2008 Chevy Impala and came barreling through the front. Photos from the scene show that she went a significant distance inside the store.

Surveillance video shows she nearly hit an 80-year-old woman who was shopping inside at the front counter. The woman suffered some minor injuries.

Underwood apparently backed into a Chevy Suburban just moments before that in the parking lot. Police say she dropped her husband off at CVS and waited for him in the car.

When he returned, she accidentally backed into the Chevy. While her husband was checking on the SUV, she apparently put the car in drive and hit the accelerator.

A CVS employee who helped the shopper grazed by the vehicle said the engine was still revving at a high RPM and the wheels were spinning after it crashed inside the store.




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