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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.

 

Man Slit Girl’s Throat After She Convinced Mom To Break Up With Him July 25, 2014

A South Florida man accused of slashing the throat of an 11-year-old girl after the child allegedly convinced her mother to break up with him is scheduled to appear in bond court Tuesday.

Miguel-Ruiz-LoboOn Monday, City of Miami Police announced they had arrested 42-year-old Miguel Ruiz Lobo, the former-live-in boyfriend of Little Havana resident Amauria Alvarenga, after he allegedly killed her daughter, Marta Guzman, and attempted to make it look like a suicide.

On June 22, City of Miami Police responded to reports of an 11-year-old-girl found with her neck slashed at 834 N.W. Fourth St. Guzman was transported to the hospital but would not survive.

The death was originally believed to be a suicide since the young girl had a history of cutting. However, autopsy results revealed the manner of death was homicide.

Speaking with reporters Monday evening, Alvarenga said Ruiz never abused her daughter physically. Instead, she said, the abuse was more emotional in nature, and the sixth-grader convinced her to end her relationship with the suspect.

Friends consoled a tearful Alvarenga as she sat in her apartment and wiped away her tears. Not far from her, the walls of Marta Guzman’s bedroom were peppered with the straight-A student’s framed achievement certificates.

Alvarenga, who has been separated from husband Jose Guzman for five years, said she is grateful the man police said is responsible for her daughter’s murder has been apprehended. “I feel better that they arrested him because that’s what I needed,” she said through a translator. “From the moment I found her, I never thought she committed suicide because I know my daughter.”

Ruiz stated he had no contact with the victim in over a week, but a neighbor’s surveillance camera showed Ruiz entering the victim’s residence and leaving 32 minutes later. In the video, no one else is seen entering the apartment until the girl’s mother arrives and discovers the victim at around 2:28 p.m.

During the investigation, police also noted Ruiz had visible, fresh scratches on his arms and face. Police then submitted Ruiz’s DNA swabs along with the victim’s fingernail scrapings to a lab for testing. Results showed the DNA from the victim’s fingernail scrapings matched Ruiz’s DNA.

Police said Ruiz attempted to use the girl’s history of self-mutilating as a cover up for the murder. They also said he was not allowed at the girl’s residence but used a key to enter the apartment and slit the child’s throat as revenge after she allegedly convinced her mother to break up with him. The mother immediately believed Ruiz was responsible for the girl’s death.

Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said, “It all stems from the little girl and her mother did not get along with Mr. Ruiz, who was the boyfriend of the mother, and eventually the little girl convinced mom to break up with Mr. Ruiz. Mr. Ruiz was not happy about it. He returned to the house when the girl was alone. He used a key that he knew the whereabouts of the key, and we believe he entered and killed the young lady.”

Police said Marta Guzman fought back, but was unsuccessful with her assailant standing 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 210 pounds. “It’s unspeakable,” said Orosa. “We believe that he subdued her quickly, and during that time is when she was able to get in a few scratches on his face and on his arms. He’s such a huge monster of a man that could control her easily, and eventually he did and killed her. There were other signals of multiple puncture wounds that she had. He knew that she had cut herself previously.”

Alvarenga said she knew in her heart her ex- was the killer. She just needed investigators to prove it.

Alvarenga added her daughter’s death is not only a huge loss for her family, but for the community where she lives, many of whom are from Honduras. “I would have given my life for her,” she said.

The 11-year-old’s father said he is devastated. “It’s not easy. I cry every night, every day, anytime,” said Jose Guzman, who added he wants the maximum sentence handed down to Ruiz.

Ruiz has been charged with first-degree murder.

 

Joy McCall Gets 10 Years In Prison For Having Sex With 12-Year-Old Boy July 16, 2014

Joy L. McCall was arrested earlier this week after the 35-year-old was charged with having sex with a 12-year-old son of a family friend.

Joy-McCall1The victim’s mother called the Ocala Police Department to report she believed her son was in a sexual relationship with one of her friends. Her son supposedly told a friend at church about having a sexual  relationship with McCall, and that boy cock-blocked told his mother, who then contacted the victim’s mother to relay what she’d been told.

After learning of the possible relationship, the victim’s mother conducted her own investigation and found some disturbing text messages between McCall and her son that seemed to confirm the two had sex on multiple occasions. “She was able to see through the different text messaging that had occurred between McCall and the juvenile. And determine the dates that the incidents had occurred,’ said Sergeant Angy Scroble.

When police interviewed the boy, he confirmed his mother’s suspicions and told them he’d had sex with “Ms. Joy” on three occasions. The first was in January after he began receiving Facebook messages from McCall that “continued getting more heated.” After sending him pictures of herself in her underwear, she texted him to meet her at the Paddock Mall.

He did, and the two had sex in the backseat of McCall’s car. Five days later, she picked him up while he was riding his bicycle and the two had sex in some secluded woods. They met again in February and had sex in the same wooded area.

McCall, who has children the same age as the victim, was interviewed by police and admitted she’d had sex with the boy. Joy L. McCall was arrested and charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious battery. On Tuesday, Judge Jim McCune set McCall’s bond at $45,000.

McCall is currently on suicide watch at the Marion County Jail.

 

Middle school teacher suspended for teaching students how to twerk and receiving a lap dance from a student July 11, 2014

A teacher accused of twerking and drinking alcohol at a soccer team party has been suspended.

article-2688027-1F8DF36C00000578-107_634x624The Duval County School Board voted July 1 to suspend Courtney Spruill without pay.  She works at Kernan Middle School as a soccer team coach and PE/Health teacher, according to district documents obtained by Action News.

The investigation came to light when a student approached a softball coach about a party for the soccer team.

The party reportedly took place at the parent’s house of one of the players in May.

The student, according to the investigative report, claimed the coach was drinking alcohol and twerking on players.  The district investigation made note of twerking as a form of dirty dancing.

The district also reviewed cellphone video of Spruill getting a lap dance from a student at the party.

The woman who owned the home told school investigators Spruill brought vodka to the house as a gift but didn’t drink any of it.  She instead drank soda, according to the homeowner.

District investigators said Spruill showed “the gross exercise of poor judgment,” according to documents.

- See more at: http://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/news/local/twerking-party-lap-dance-lead-kernan-middle-school/ngbZD/#sthash.yTZWPd6M.dpuf

 

Worker hid child in laundry basket at unlicensed day care July 3, 2014

The Department of Children and Families said a woman was caring for 10 young children by herself in an illegal Orange County day care, and when investigators came knocking, she tried to hide an infant in a laundry basket.

ORCO_DCF_ILLEGAL_DAYCARE.trA tip led investigators to the home of Veronica Suarez on Cypress Knee Circle off Curry Ford Road, where she was illegally caring for two infants, four 3-year-olds, two 4-year-olds, a 5-year-old and a 6-year-old.

DCF officials said she would only be arrested if she refused to stop operating the day care.

Suarez was allowed five days to shut down the facility.

In order to run a family day care from home, the owner would need a license or registration and the state would have to inspect the home.

But even if Suarez met those requirements, DCF said she was still caring for too many young children with not enough help to meet state guidelines.

Suarez said she claims she was just a baby sitter and has been watching other people’s children for at least two years.

DCF said they will check in Suarez next week and she could be fined for operating an unregulated day care.

 

Barber shop doubled as a strip club July 1, 2014

priceThe owner of an Orange County barbershop was arrested after Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation agents raided the business and said it was being used as a strip club.

Super Fades barbershop, which sits along Pine Hills Road, is closed following the raid that sent its owner, 42-year-old Derrick Price, to jail.

Agents said they found a 17-year-old girl stripping inside the business. But Price denies that he was using the shop as a strip club.

“It’s customer appreciation. I thank my customers for coming in and supporting me, that’s all it was,” Price said to Eyewitness News.

MBI investigator Lt. Mike Gibson said undercover agents visited the barbershop by day and learned that it quickly morphed into a liquor-selling strip club every Saturday night.

“On each and every occasion they were serving alcohol and they had strippers. And not strippers following local law, but strippers that went completely nude,” Gibson said.

Undercover agents said about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, they bought $20 worth of vodka at the business, where the 17-year-old was allegedly one of many women working as a stripper.

The underage girl was charged with lewd acts and adult entertainment crimes, but agents are investigating whether she was forced to work against her will.

“We had to speed up our investigation quite a bit to get the juvenile out, and in fact, we did,” Gibson said.

There was a $10 cover charge for patrons to get in during those times, authorities said. But Price denied that he was collecting a cover fee when he talked to Channel 9.

“I wasn’t taking money for anything, I take donations,” Price said.

Neighboring business owners told Channel 9 they didn’t know about the alleged extracurricular activities at Super Fade, but MBI agents said it was no surprise what was going on.

“Surely he could make $600-$700 a night as the owner running this strip club,” said Gibson.

Investigators said they removed a stripper pole permanently installed in the middle of the shop.

“That would have been a piece of equipment that was there even when they operated during the day while they acted as a barbershop,” Gibson said. “I’ve never gone to a barbershop that had a stripper pole.”

Investigators said a tipster prompted them to take in cameras, where they shot video so graphic WFTV chose not to air it.

Gibson said they expect to make more arrests in the case. Price was booked into the Orange County Jail, but he has since bonded out.

 

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.

 

 
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