floridaduh

The Bizarre World of Florida

Jury decides you cannot stand your ground against an unarmed teenager who was playing his music too loud for your tastes October 2, 2014

A Florida jury found a white software engineer guilty of first degree murder Wednesday in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager during a dispute over loud rap music.

ap285158298726Michael Dunn, 47, a software engineer, testified that he was defending himself when he fired 10 rounds at an SUV carrying four black teens listening to music at a Jacksonville gas station parking lot in November 2012, killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

In a February trial, a jury deadlocked on the murder charge but convicted Dunn on three counts of attempted murder for firing at the three surviving teens in the vehicle.

Under Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for crimes committed with a gun, Dunn could face at least 60 years in jail for his February convictions. Sentencing for those convictions was postponed until after his retrial.

Dunn testified on Tuesday he was sure he saw a gun as a teenager appeared to emerge from the SUV making verbal threats against his life. Davis was unarmed, prosecutors said, and no weapon was found in the youths’ vehicle.

During the weeklong retrial, prosecutors argued that Dunn’s actions went far beyond self-defense.

Davis was struck by three bullets while leaning away from the gunfire, an expert testified during the trial. Dunn faced intense questioning as to why he did not call 911, which he blamed on fear and shock.

The trial has drawn comparisons to the case of George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder in Florida last year in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, another unarmed, black 17-year-old. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, had said he fired in self-defense.

 

Man Cycling Across Six States To Propose To Girlfriend Stabbed To Death By Homeless Man At McDonald’s September 9, 2014

A Farmington family is coming to grips with the death of their 28-year-old son, who was stabbed to death just days before finishing a bicycle trip down the East Coast, family members said.

Kevin-AdornoKevin Adorno, 28, of Unionville, had stopped to buy food and charge his phone at a McDonald’s restaurant on U.S. Route 1 in Vero Beach, Florida, when he was stabbed around 9:30 p.m. Monday, according to police.

Authorities have identified his attacker as 59-year-old Rene Herrera Cruz, a homeless man who had recently arrived in Vero Beach from Miami, according to the arrest affidavit.

A Farmington family is coming to grips with the death of their 28-year-old son, who was stabbed to death just days before finishing a bicycle trip down the East Coast, family members said.Kevin Adorno, 28, of Unionville, was at a McDonald’s restaurant on U.S. Route 1 in Vero Beach, Florida, when he was stabbed around 9:30 p.m. on Monday. Police said he had stopped to buy food and charge his phone.

Police said the incident was caught on surveillance video.

Cruz told police he was in the parking lot when a motorcycle pulled up near him. According to the affidavit, “Cruz had felt as if people kept watching him” so he moved to a different area and took a filet knife from his backpack.

He told police a man sitting in the restaurant near Adorno kept looking at him, making him nervous.

When Adorno went outside to use his cellphone, Cruz thought Adorno was taking pictures of him and “directing people to go after him,” according to the affidavit.

Adorno was walking near the drive-thru lanes in Cruz’s direction, and Cruz pulled the knife as Adorno approached, the affidavit says.

Police said Adorno spotted the knife and ran, but Cruz attacked.

“He’s going in cardiac arrest, please,” a witness is heard begging dispatchers in the 911 call. “He got stabbed in the heart. It was an attack, please.”

Authorities rushed to the scene and found Adorno lying on the floor near the restaurant bathrooms. Police said he’d been stabbed several times in the chest and arm and collapsed inside McDonald’s while witnesses applied pressure to his wounds.

“He felt as though his hands were literally on Adorno’s heart due to the severity of the wound,” police wrote of one of the witnesses in the arrest affidavit.

Adorno was pronounced dead a short time later at Indian River Medical Center, according to police.

Police said Cruz tossed the murder weapon into the bushes at McDonald’s while running across the street to a Burger King restaurant. He threw his shirt and a second knife into the garbage there, and officers took him into custody.

According to police, Cruz admitted to stabbing Adorno and said he felt threatened but didn’t see any weapons on the victim. Cruz told police the two did not know each other and had never spoken.

Police said it wasn’t their first encounter with Cruz.

“We dealt with him actually the night before. He called us from Burger King right across the street and he told responding officers that individuals were looking for him or were after him,” said Vero Beach Police Chief David Currey.

Family members said Adorno biked from Maine to Maryland with his sister last summer. He was two days and 100 miles away from completing the second leg of his trip, from Maryland to Miami.

They said Adorno, an athlete and animal lover who owned a graphic design company, was planning to propose to his girlfriend and was on the phone with her when Cruz attacked.

“The last thing she heard was the phone drop and then shortly thereafter the sound of sirens in the background,” police wrote in the affidavit.

Cruz has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond.

 

In Florida, the cops can come inside your own home kill you over $2 worth of pot, and still be “acting properly” August 17, 2014

Filed under: Abuse,Amazing,Controversy,Death,Disgusting,Disrespectful,Dumb,Scary,Sick,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:59 pm

A Tampa Police Department internal review has concluded that SWAT team officers acted appropriately when they fatally shot a 29-year-old Seminole Heights man during an unsuccessful drug raid.

b2s_swatia081614b_13390539_8colThe review, documented in a 415-page file provided to the Tampa Bay Times in response to a public records request, found that police Cpl. Eric Wasierski and Officer Edwin Perez “feared for their lives and the safety of others” when they shot Jason Westcott to death in his home on the night of May 27.

Police had been conducting a narcotics investigation of Westcott and hoped to find large quantities of marijuana in his house. The search yielded only 0.2 grams — or about $2 worth — of pot, in addition to paraphernalia such as a digital scale, plastic baggies and jars with marijuana residue.

During the raid, according to the internal investigation, officers opened the door to Westcott’s bedroom and found him on the other side with a loaded, 9mm Taurus Slim pistol. Wasierski and Perez said they immediately shot him because he began to raise the weapon.

An autopsy corroborated their account, indicating that Westcott was initially shot with his right shoulder pointed forward and his right arm lifted partway up his body.

“Based on a thorough review of the totality of the circumstances and the evidence present, it is clear that both Wasierski and Perez were in the unfortunate situation of having to utilize deadly force for their protection and the protection of others,” Deputy Chief Brian Dugan wrote in a memo.

The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office had concluded in June that the police officers were justified in shooting Westcott.

Westcott’s mother, Patti Silliman of New Port Richey, said she doubted the Police Department’s ability to review its own actions and was still troubled by “inaccuracies and inconsistencies” in the official account of her son’s death.

“Words cannot describe the pain that this tragedy has caused our family,” Silliman said.

Westcott, a motorcycle mechanic who lived at 906 W Knollwood St. with his boyfriend, had no state criminal record besides driving offenses and a misdemeanor marijuana possession arrest dating back 11 years.

No neighbors had complained to police about the house, although Westcott himself called police late last year because he learned that several men were plotting to break in and rob him.

In February, according to police records, an informer began buying marijuana from Westcott on behalf of narcotics detectives, purchasing $160 of pot over about four months.

Detectives said they learned from the confidential source that Westcott had a gun with him during the drug deals, and so enlisted a tactical response team to take him into custody.

The internal review gives the following account of the raid:

On May 27, a BearCat armored car carried SWAT officers to Westcott’s home. As they exited the vehicle and walked toward the front door, Cpl. Bryan Felts, the team leader, loudly announced, “Police, search warrant,” according to multiple officers present.

At the door, Felts knocked and announced the police team at least three more times, team members said. When nobody answered, the officers let themselves in — the door was unlocked.

Westcott’s boyfriend, Israel Reyes, was on a couch in the living room. The first officers inside moved past him to the closed bedroom door.

Wasierski, who was carrying a shotgun, opened the door and immediately saw Westcott on the other side raising a gun.

“I immediately saw … a white arm with the pistol coming toward me,” he later told investigators. “So I’m fearing this guy’s about to shoot me or this — this gun’s gonna fire at me. So I squeeze two off.”

Wasierski then fired a third round. Perez, behind him, fired his handgun twice. Westcott was hit by one bullet from the pistol and two shotgun slugs; his fatal torso wound came from a shotgun slug, according to the autopsy report.

Wasierski said he did not have time to tell Westcott to drop the gun, while Perez said, “I don’t recall if I had enough time to say ‘drop the gun’ or anything.”

Reyes was taken into custody and later released. He was not charged with a crime.

 

Austin Hamilton Whipped Toddler To Death Because Child Peed On Him During Diaper Change August 13, 2014

Filed under: Abuse,Child Abuse,Dangerous Nut,Death,Disgusting,Dumb,Florida Nut,Sick,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:23 pm

A Tampa man has been arrested for causing the death of his girlfriend’s 1-year-old boy.

Austin-HamiltonTampa police officers arrested Austin Hamilton, 24, whose address is at large, for first degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

About 11 a.m. Saturday, Hamilton’s girlfriend left the 1-year-old boy and his 6-year-old brother with Hamilton in a room at the Motel 6, 333 East Fowler Ave. in Tampa, when she went to work.

Later on that night, Hamilton called 911 for help when the 1-year-old boy, Sincere Williams, whose address was listed the same as the Motel 6, started having trouble breathing.

About 8:22 p.m., Tampa police officers and paramedics arrived at the motel and found the victim unresponsive on a bed inside of the room. The child was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he later died.

During the initial investigation at the scene, the suspect claimed that he did not hit or punish the victim in anyway and that the victim was not involved in any accidents that would have caused his death, a Tampa Police Department report said.

Sunday, TPD homicide detectives received the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office report, which said the toddler died as a result of blunt force trauma to the lower abdomen, the police report said. The medical examiner ruled the victim’s death a homicide.

Detectives located the suspect and interviewed him again about the details surrounding the child’s death. Hamilton changed his story and stated that while he was changing the victim’s diaper, the child urinated inside of the motel room.

“He lost control” and hit the victim several times all over his body with a leather belt, the police report said. He went on to state that while he was disciplining the child, he tried to pick the victim up, but the child fell and hit his head.

Tampa Police homicide detectives charged Hamilton with First Degree Murder and Aggravated Child Abuse based on the suspect’s interview along with witness statements and evidence from the crime scene. Hamilton was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.

Hamilton is not the biological father of the victim or the 6-year-old boy who was also left in his care. The 6-year old was not injured during the incident.

The investigation is still on going.

 

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.

 

Palm Beach authorities would like to speak to the person who decided to recycle a perfectly good human body July 20, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Death,Disgusting,Disrespectful,Morbid,Sick,WTF? — floridaduh @ 3:52 pm

body_311943a_1A body was found just before 10 a.m. Friday at a Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County facility, according to officials.

The authority’s spokesman, Willie Puz, said workers found the body at the recovered materials processing facility, which takes residential and commercial recycling.

He said the body was found in a section of the facility that holds commercial paper recycling.

The gender of the body has not been released and Puz said he is unsure when the body got there. The medical examiner and the West Palm Beach Police are investigating the incident.

In February, a man’s body was found at the recycling center.

The facility is only accessible to commercial vehicles to drop off recyclables en masse, Puz said. Trucks come in and out all day and are electronically logged by a scale, he said.

“Everybody goes through a scale house, and we’re looking at the vehicles that came in today and where they came from,” he said.

 

Homeless Woman Dies After Driver Parks Car On Top Of Her July 14, 2014

Filed under: Death,Dumb,Morbid,Sad Story,Scary,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:42 pm

A transient woman was killed Tuesday night after she fell asleep in a parking space and was run over by a car, St. Petersburg police said.

Henrietta-DicksonThe incident happened at 11:30 p.m. at the Palm Garden Condo Complex, located in the 5300 block of Fourth Street N.

According to police, Henrietta Regina Dickson, 55, had either passed out or fallen asleep in an assigned parking space between two carport support pillars.

At about 11:30 p.m., a woman pulled into her assigned parking space. Police said the front of her vehicle drove over Dickson’s body, pinning the woman between the concrete parking spot and the undercarriage of the vehicle, police said.

Police said the driver felt the impact and got out of her vehicle. She saw a large tote bag, which belonged to Dickson, sticking out from beneath her car, just behind the front left tire, so she removed the tote bag and assumed that was what she had run over, police said.

The driver didn’t see Dickson’s body, which police said could only be seen from the front of the vehicle, and so she went into her house.

“This is a very unusual and very sad case,” said Yolanda Fernandez of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

“She felt the bump and when she looked, it was a large tote bag full of things, full of clothing, and other items.  She just figured that’s what she hit.”

On Wednesday morning, a passerby noticed Dickson’s hand sticking out from beneath the front of the car and called police to report that a person was sleeping under a vehicle, police said.

Officers who responded found Dickson’s lifeless body. She was pronounced dead at 8:12 a.m.

“That’s horrible,” said Michael Evans, the victim’s neighbor.

The driver’s neighbors said there’s no way she’d do this on purpose.

“She seems like a nice person,” said Herbert Rivera. “I mean, if she realized she would have hit something, she would have said something.”

The driver did not come to the door to comment.

As for Evans, he recalled some of the good times.

“I thought she was funny,” he said.  “I’d get a real kick out of her.”

He’s now trying to comprehend how this could happen.

Police said they suspect Dickson may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.

The driver has no criminal history and at this time, police say she will not face any charges in connection with this incident.

 

 
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