The Bizarre World of Florida

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.


Florida … Where else would a teenager kill his nudist grandmother and drive her body around in her minivan? June 25, 2014

A teenager killed his grandmother in a bloody struggle inside her home at a nudist community and then drove around with her body in a minivan for nearly five hours, authorities said.

13f4a7e3a85c0118580f6a706700f283Brandon Machetto, 18, had been living with his grandmother, 74-year-old Sylvia Schmitt, for the past several weeks and they apparently fought frequently, said Pasco County sheriff’s spokeswoman Melanie Snow.

A neighbor called authorities after seeing Machetto drag a wrapped bag with feet dangling out into his grandmother’s minivan early Monday, police said.

Machetto drove around with his grandmother’s body in the back and when deputies tried to pull him over, he refused, police said. He eventually drove back to the Paradise Lakes community and was arrested.

Machetto was charged with first-degree murder and is being held in jail without bond. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.

Ronnie Hall, Machetto’s martial arts instructor for seven years, said Machetto nearly died a few years ago when he was attacked by a group of teens who hit him in the back of the head with a rock, the Tampa Bay Times (http://bittyurl.co/4nhz ) reported. Hall said Machetto suffered a brain injury, and that he was not aggressive.

Machetto and his grandmother apparently fought as she tried to get her grandson to take his medication. Deputies said Machetto had been accused of domestic violence against Schmitt in 2012, but she dropped the charge.


Man Dies in “Horrifying” Wood Chipper Accident June 24, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Death,Sad Story,Scary,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 8:54 pm

A man fell into a wood chipper and was killed Monday in Davie in an accident people at the scene called “horrifying.”

hernan+gutierrezA worker landscaping all day near Southwest 57th Street and Pine Island Drive in Davie fell into the teeth of his wood chipper.

On Tuesday, Davie Police identified the man as 42-year-old Hernan Gutierrez of Hallandale Beach (photo below).

Gutierrez’s whole body was pulled in through the wood chipper, and the aftermath took a toll on residents and law enforcement.

“I didn’t know what to do, and then a few minutes later, I hear all these sirens,” resident Joseph Horta told NBC 6′s Jamie Guirola. “It was a little bit horrifying.”

“This isn’t something you see every day,” said Davie Police Captain Dale Engle. “It’s not something you can just go home and forget about.”

The man was dead when rescue workers arrived, and Davie Police had to delicately clean the scene and collect the victim’s remains.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Captain Engle said. “This is a gruesome scene.”

One of the workers with the victim said he knew Gutierrez but declined to talk about the accident.

Police believe the man’s death was the result of a work accident. OSHA was also brought to the scene of the accident and promised more information later.

According to OSHA, from 2000 to 2013, there were 11 wood chipper deaths in the United States, none of them in the state of Florida.

“I think it’s sad, very sad,” said resident Linda Simmons. “Guys were working really hard trying to make a living, and he just made a mistake, I guess.”


If you gotta go, this is the way …. man drinking beer in roadway hit June 4, 2014

Filed under: Alcohol,Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Death,Drunk,Dumb,Sad Story,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:43 pm

DeLand-pedestrian-hitDeLand’s main highway was closed for hours Friday because of a fatal crash about 8:30 p.m.

Authorities with the DeLand Police Department said the crash happened in the 1000 block of North Woodland Boulevard.

Investigators said 57-year-old Jorge Lewis Rivera, of New Jersey, walked across a dark area of the highway, and after crossing the concrete median, he stopped in the middle of the travel lane and began drinking a beer.

While Rivera was in the roadway, a sport utility vehicle hit him, and he died at the scene.

Police said Rivera was intoxicated at the time.

The SUV driver was identified as Andre Washington, 20, of South Carolina.

The crash is still under investigation, and no charges have been filed.


When jumping off pontoon boat to rescue your dog, you should know how to swim May 27, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Death,Dumb,Funny,Interesting,Silly,Stupid,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 7:22 pm

Pinellas County Sheriff deputies have found the body of the missing boater.

Deputies say the missing boater jumped off the pontoon boat into the water to save his dog.  The dog was returned to the boat safely.

At about 4:00 p.m. yesterday Pinellas County Deputies began searching in the area of Lake Tarpon in Palm Harbor.

His body was located at about 8:15 AM after a citizen called 911 to report something suspicious near Brooker Creek.

The body has been identified as John Patti, 70, of Palm Harbor.



Custody battles over a child are always emotional, brutal ordeals. It’s even worse when it’s over a child’s ashes May 23, 2014

The ashes of the young man killed in the high-profile car crash involving polo magnate John Goodman can’t be legally divided among his divorced, feuding parents, a state appeals court has ruled in a decision released Wednesday.

wilson-scott-jpg-20140521The remains of Scott Wilson are not “property” that can be halved into two equal parts, the three-judge panel at the Fourth District Court of Appeal said, a ruling in favor of Wilson’s mother, who opposed the division of her son’s ashes on religious grounds.

The decision cited debate about human remains dating back to the 1700s, prior cases in Florida, and the state’s existing legislation. But the court’s decision, quoting the words of a fellow judge from a similar case in 2005, couldn’t ignore the sheer emotion of the case.

“It is a sorrowful matter to have relatives disputing in court over the remains of the deceased,” Judge Martha Warner wrote. “In this case in particular, there is no solution that will bring peace to all parties.”

The court also said the “sensitive policy issue” — whether remains could be treated the same as a body, or considered property — would be best left to the Florida legislature to decide.

Scott Wilson, of Wellington, was 23 when he died on Feb. 12, 2010. That night, he was driving his Hyundai Sonata at the intersection of 120th Avenue and Lake Worth Road, when a Bentley driven by Goodman sped through a stop sign, striking the Sonata, according to trial evidence. Wilson’s car was pushed into a canal and he died.

And while the Goodman case has been winding its way through the courts, so too has the legal fight between Scott Wilson’s parents over their son’s remains.

The decision offers a general summary of the circumstances, explaining that William Wilson Jr., Scott’s father, and Lili Wilson, Scott’s mother, were divorced at the time of their son’s death.

While they had agreed to cremate Scott, they couldn’t agree on how to distribute Scott’s ashes, the court noted. The young man didn’t leave a will or any instructions on how to treat his remains. Meanwhile the ashes remained in an urn at a Royal Palm Beach funeral home.

Lili Wilson wanted to bury her son’s remains in West Palm Beach, where Scott had spent his entire life moving away to study engineering at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Scott’s father sought to bury his son’s ashes in a family plot in Blue Ridge, Ga., a place that Scott had visited many times in his youth.

In his efforts to have the remains legally divided, William Wilson Jr. asked a court to deem the ashes property so that they could then be partitioned under the probate code, the appeals court decision states. His ex-wife opposed such a move.

Ultimately, the lower court disagreed with William Wilson’s property argument and denied the petition. The court then issued an ultimatum: find a way to dispose of the remains in 30 days or the court would appoint somebody to do it instead. Wilson’s father then brought the case to the appeals court, which resulted in Wednesday’s decision.

It’s likely that the case will now go back to the lower court.

Lili Wilson’s attorney, Kristina Pett, declined to comment, citing her client’s wishes.

William Wilson’s lawyer, Joy Bartmon, said she was disappointed with the decision.

“This opinion does not guide the trial court in the determination to be made,” she said in an email. “Instead, what will occur when the decision as to the ashes goes back to the trial court, is what I wanted to avoid. The final resting place for this young man may be left to the discretion of an administrator who never knew him.”

As for Goodman, a jury convicted him of driving drunk and causing Wilson’s death in March 2012. Last year, however, Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath tossed Goodman’s conviction and 16-year prison sentence because of juror misconduct.

The 50-year old multimillionaire founder of International Polo Club Palm Beach is on house arrest on $4 million bail while his attorneys continue to challenge evidence in the case before the new trial.

William and Lili Wilson’s civil lawsuit against Goodman settled two years ago; the parents evenly split $46 million, before attorney fees, according to court records.


Man says getting the wrong order at Burger King pushed him over the edge May 22, 2014

A Florida man was arrested Tuesday after authorities say he fatally shot a man , as well as article-0-1E15C04600000578-7_634x356Brandon Hawkins has a long history of problems with his girlfriend’s family, but according to investigators, what finally pushed him over the edge was a sandwich from a Port St. Lucie Burger King.

‘The wrong sandwich was just another stressor in an already tense situation,’ Port St. Lucie Police Chief John Bolduc told reporters on Wednesday.

Authorities say Hawkins’ relationship with Jamie Young has been strained recently, and the issues he’s had with her family has been equally problematic.

About a year ago, Young’s brother fired a gun at Hawkins, police say, and on Tuesday Hawkins had gone to Young’s home looking for her brother.

‘There’s a long history in the family of gunplay,’ Port St. Lucie Police Lt. Scott Beck told WPBF.

About 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening, police say Hawkins went to Young’s home with a plan to kill her brother and than take his own life.

Things didn’t go according to plan.

Rather than shooting Young’s brother, Hawkins ended up shooting her mother’s boyfriend, 69-year-old Levy Williams, and Young’s 7-year-old son, Emmanuel Morgan Jr. as he and his mother tried to run to a neighbor’s house to avoid the gunfire.

Williams died at a local hospital, and Morgan currently is in stable condition. Young was not injured in the attack.

According to detectives, Hawkins showed no remorse when he was told Williams was dead.

Neighbors and other witnesses described a chaotic scene at the home.

‘The first couple (of shots) sounded more like fireworks, then all of a sudden a few minutes later, I could hear, “Pow, pow, pow, pow,’” said a neighbor who preferred to remain anonymous.

Hawkins remained on the loose for several hours after the shooting, causing residents in the neighborhood to fear that he could attack them next.

‘When they said he was still on the loose, I said we better lock all our doors and windows because we don’t know where he’s hiding,’ neighbor Samori Williams told the local news station. ‘He could be in anybody’s backyard. It’s no joke; anybody can hide.’

Detectives tracked Hawkins down at another girlfriend’s house a few miles away from the crime scene at about 1 a.m.

Hawkins was booked into the St. Lucie County Jail about 5:30 a.m. on several felony charges, including first-degree murder.

He’s been ordered held without bail.


Here’s a story that just has too many facets to explain May 21, 2014

A Grand Bay teenager is charged with murder and armed robbery in Tallahasee, Florida.

amber-ward-18-soliciting-for-the-purpose-of-prostitution-297607b7af2abf23Police said 18-year-old Amber Ward shot and killed a man who responded to her escort ad on http://www.backpage.com.

According to court documents, Ward met up with the victim at a hotel in Tallahasee, where she provided her phone number and Grand Bay address when checking into room 213.

Investigators said Ward goes by the nickname “Chocolate Bunny” in her escort ads found on the website backpage.com.

Tallahasee Police said 29-year-old Isaac Grace responded to her advertisement, and the teen drove to Tallahasee to meet Grace at the EconoLodge Motel.

According to court records, Grace was found dead inside one of the rooms. Police believe Ward shot him several times and stole his cell phone.

“Ms. Ward is a known prostitute. She has had a previous arrest in Mobile for prostitution which stemmed from city of Mobile investigation. But we did find where she had advertised on backpage.com,” said Sgt. Joe Mahoney, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. Mahoney said Ward was soliciting sex throughout the region.

“We’re finding ads from her from Montgomery all the way to Florida and Mississippi,” said Mahoney.

Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office helped Florida authorities track Ward down at her home on Jaimee Circle.

Court documents revealed that two spent 9 mm casings were found in her vehicle. The casings were consistent with the ones found at the murder scene.

“These backpage ads, there are several of them each day advertising sexual favors. But you never know. A lot of times these are women or even men posing as, setting up guys to show up at a remote location where they’re isolated and can be robbed,” said Mahoney.

A similar case in Mobile last year ended in the death of a U.S. Coast Guardsman.

Police said Robert Roberts was shot to death at the Baymont Inn and Suites last March after arranging a meeting with Shaniah Woods through backpage.com.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 21,355 other followers