The Bizarre World of Florida

Was this fisherman angling for some jail time? April 15, 2014

Filed under: Controversy,Dispute,Dumb,Really Dumb,Sad Story,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 7:55 pm

sfl-flduh-fisherman-touching-officer-20140414-001Tonight, we are learning more about a bizarre battery investigation on the Naples Pier. Police arrested Frank Vitiello this weekend. He’s accused of touching a beach patrol officer on the cheek.

On a normal day, you’d find Vitiello fishing at the pier. Now he’s fighting a battery charge after a female officer claims he went beyond the bounds of acceptable and put his hand on her face.

“I’ve never heard something like this before here on the pier. To me it’s impossible to think Frank would do something like this,” said angler Doina Ciabuca.

What the fisherman is accused of doing over the weekend landed him in jail.

“Bad things happen when people raise their hands to you,” said pier visitor Rich Emmert.

Around noon Saturday, Beach Patrol Specialist Casey Bollenback was talking with a group of fishermen about the city’s new fishing ordinances. City council recently banned treble hooks to protect pelicans.

It was during that conversation the officer says Vitiello reached out and touched her.

“Public servants have a very difficult job. They have to enforce rules and regulations,” said pier visitor John Boyle.

When Bollenback told Vitiello that his action wasn’t OK, she says he appeared agitated and walked away.

According to the incident report, Vitiello admitted to “patting her on the face to comfort her” and saying “It’s OK.” He told them he didn’t want Bollenback to feel like the fishermen were ganging up on her.

“I’ve known Frank for over 10 years. He’s a wonderful guy, helpful, helping everybody around here — the pelicans too,” Ciabuca said.

The Naples Police Department arrested Vitiello, charging him with battery.

People we spoke with were split whether the punishment fits this alleged crime. The majority agreed Vitiello crossed the line.

One visitor said there is a legal way he could’ve handled it.

“We do have freedom of speech. We don’t have freedom of battery,” Boyle said.

Police say Vitiello is not barred from the pier and the police department is not changing pier ordinance enforcement because of Vitiello’s arrest.


Men who stopped an armed ‘Rambo” behind bars for another attack March 21, 2014

Three Flagler County men who wrestled a gunman dressed like Rambo to the ground in a Palm Coast tavern Saturday were arrested following a separate fight with a man outside a Flagler Beach bar early Wednesday.


Vassili Mironov, 28, Roman Dubinschi, 24, and Joshua Auriemma, 37, all of Palm Coast, each were charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Mironov also was charged with misdemeanor battery following the fight about 1:40 a.m. in the parking lot of Finns Beachside Pub on North Florida A1A, according to a Flagler Beach police report.

The three men later were released on bail, jail records show.

They are accused of arguing with Ralph Ortiz inside the pub, then following him outside. A witness told police that Mironov threw the first punch then Dubinschi and Auriemma joined in. When officers arrived, Ortiz was lying on his back on the ground surrounded by a crowd of yelling intoxicated people, according to the police report.

Ortiz has the same last name as a witness to the Rambo-style attack at Europa Lounge and Bistro. Information wasn’t immediately available whether the two men were related.

Shortly before 11:30 p.m. that night, Mironov, Dubinschi and Auriemma took down a man who was armed with a .22-caliber Uzi rifle and two large hunting knives when he came into the Palm Harbor Parkway bar and challenged several patrons, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Mironov was stabbed near the left eye and received cuts to both his hands, while Dubinschi was cut on one arm while trying to subdue 37-year-old Daniel Allen Noble of Palm Coast. Mironov and Dubinski grabbed the rifle barrel and pointed it downward, but not before two shots were fired into the ground without hitting anyone. Auriemma knocked Noble unconscious, witnesses told sheriff’s deputies.


Man beat dad, 87, with sledgehammer in fight over vacuum March 20, 2014

allen-croskey-marion-031914A Marion County man has been arrested after Ocala police say he attacked his elderly father with a sledgehammer over a vacuum cleaner.

Detectives said Allen Croskey, 55, got in a fight Wednesday with his 87-year-old father because of a ruined vacuum.

Police said Croskey told detectives he had come home from eating at a soup kitchen Wednesday morning to find his father in the carport. His father yelled at him about breaking the vacuum cleaner and, while holding a sledgehammer in his hands, told Croskey to leave.

Detectives said Croskey then went to a neighbor’s house, took a piece of pipe from a chain-link fence, and struck his father in the head with the pipe.

Once his father was on the ground and knocked out, police said Croskey picked up the sledgehammer and hit him in the face with it twice.

Police said Croskey, believing his father to be dead, got rid of the pipe and sledgehammer, dragged his father’s body into some bushes and covered it with blankets.

The father remains in critical condition, police said.

As police took Croskey into custody, he told us his dad was a paranoid schizophrenic who, in his words, “went berserk.”

Croskey also said his father “deserves a couple years in the hospital” over the vacuum cleaner issue.

We asked Croskey what led up to the attack, but police closed the doors to their patrol car and drove him to the Marion County Jail before he could answer us.


Man arrested for throwing dog poop at pregnant girlfriend and punching her March 19, 2014

sfl-flduh-doggie-doodoo-girlfriend-20140318-001A Florida man was arrested on Monday and charged with aggravated battery after he allegedly punched his pregnant girlfriend in the head and threw dog poop at her.

Daniel Redding, 25, allegedly got upset when his girlfriend’s dog defecated on the floor of the car she was driving and flung feces in her direction. The mess hit the 20-year-old and got on her arms.

The Ocala man then reportedly hit the seven-months-pregnant woman in the head multiple times. She told Deputy William Blair II that she hit Redding back in self-defense, according to a Marion County Sheriff’s Office report.

When Redding began grabbing at the steering wheel, she stopped the car in the middle of the road. Redding hopped out but law enforcement officials were able to track him down at the Westwood Mobile Home Park.

Deputies arrested Redding and took him to the Marion County Jail.

The woman declined to go the hospital, but authorities did alert the Department of Children and Families about the incident.


Anger over photo behind stabbing death of West Boca restaurant owner March 15, 2014

fl-tilus-lebron-first-appearance-a-jpg-20140314The horrific crime unfolded inside the packed dining room of a popular West Boca eatery. More than 20 terrified diners watched as a worker wielding a huge knife stabbed the restaurant owner and another worker during a dinnertime melee.

The reason for the rampage? Palm Beach deputies say the worker — 42-year-old Tilus Lebrun — was angry that his photo had been taken and posted online on March 2. So he attacked Dimitrios Karaloukas, owner of Jimmy the Greek Taverna, during Thursday’s supper rush.

Karaloukas died of his wounds a short while after being stabbed. The other worker, not yet identified by deputies, was taken to Delray Medical Center in critical condition.

In the aftermath of the crime, Karaloukas’s family was left in shock.

Joseph Scurto, who is Karaloukas’ stepbrother, described him as a family man who loved his wife, kids and grandkids. Scurto said Karaloukas, who lived in West Boca and was known by most as “Jimmy,” cared for his restaurant as he would a child — and that he treated his customers well.

“He loved what he did, he loved the people that he served,” Scurto said in a phone call from his home in New York on Friday. “If someone came in and they didn’t have money, he would take care of them”.

Lebrun’s cousin Markenson Augustin, 21, who lives with Lebrun in Pompano Beach, said he’s a “good guy” working two jobs to help send money back to his three children in Haiti. Augustin said Lebrun moved to the U.S. in 2005.

“We’re shocked because we didn’t expect something like this,” Augustin said in a phone call Friday. “He was working like crazy. I don’t see him too much because he’s always working.”

He didn’t know why Lebrun would get so upset about a photo.

Augustin said Lebrun worked at the Sun Sentinel Distribution Center in Deerfield Beach. Hired through a temporary staffing agency, he worked from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. He started working at Jimmy the Greek restaurant in January, Augustin said. His shift as a dishwasher started there at 3:30 p.m.

Augustin said Lebrun expressed frustration with the restaurant job. Augustin said he told Lebrun he should quit the dishwashing job.

State records show no arrests for Lebrun. Augustin described Lebrun as a normal person and said he and the rest of the family were stunned over his murder arrest.

Deputies say the attack happened at about 7:30 p.m. with the restaurant bustling with customers.

Employees told deputies Karaloukas, 61, was sitting near the front of the restaurant when walked up to him carrying a large knife and began stabbing him, three times in his left side and once in the back, for no apparent reason, the arrest report said.

Karaloukas died from his injuries at about 8:45 p.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies found Lebrun wearing a black work apron and carrying a knife on the 8000 block of Glades Road near the Florida Turnpike shortly after the killing. Some witnesses told Sun Sentinel news partner CBS12 the weapon was a meat cleaver.

While sitting in a deputy’s cruiser, Lebrun asked the deputy if he was Haitian, and when the deputy said yes, Lebrun spoke to him in Creole saying: “I killed him because he took my photograph on March 2 and posted it on the Internet.”

In an interview at sheriff’s office headquarters, Lebrun told the deputy: “They need to learn how to respect people. I have three kids in Haiti. I know they will suffer, but they will survive,” according to the report.

The deputy said while driving to headquarters for the interview, Lebrun repeatedly said Karaloukas had taken his photo without permission.

Lebrun is being held in Palm Beach County Jail without bail on homicide and attempted homicide charges.


Man stole knife from one person, used it on another March 14, 2014

charles-edward-ferribee-iiA homeless man has been arrested after he allegedly stole a knife from one person and used it on another.

On Feb. 10 the man, 47-year-old Charles Edward Ferribee II, no address listed, stole a folding pocketknife from its owner, according to a Fort Walton Beach Police Department arrest report. No information about the theft victim was listed except his name, which will not be reported in this police blotter.

That night, Ferribee is accused of getting into an argument with a woman about her spending time with another man. He pulled out the pocketknife and tried to stab her in the ribcage area, the report said, but failed. So then he aimed for her face and neck. She suffered a minor stab wound to her left cheek and left neck area.


Man says he didn’t stop for red light because he was on the phone

Filed under: Beautiful,Controversy,Dispute,Interesting,WTF? — floridaduh @ 4:50 pm

wilton-mckinley-glennCharges have been dropped against a local man who was accused of failing to obey a law enforcement officer’s order to stop.
On March 2, Wilton McKinley Glenn, 28, of Fort Walton Beach, was stopped at his Rockport Drive residence after an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy saw him drive his truck through a red light at the intersection of Racetrack Road and Denton Boulevard, according to an arrest report issued at the time.
He was charged with felony failure to obey a law enforcement officer’s order to stop and was to appear in court on April 9 to enter a plea.
In April, his case was transferred from circuit court to county court and downgraded to a misdemeanor.
In June, the prosecution announced to the court they had decided not to prosecute, and the case was closed.

Original police blotter item is below:

FORT WALTON BEACH – A man told an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy he didn’t stop at a red light because he was talking on his phone and wanted to go home.
At almost midnight on March 2, the deputy saw 28-year-old Wilton McKinley Glenn of Fort Walton Beach drive his truck through the red light at the intersection of Racetrack Road and Denton Boulevard. The deputy activated his lights and gave chase.
Glenn did not stop his vehicle until he reached a Rockport Drive residence, his home.
When the deputy asked him why he ran the red light, Glenn told him he was on the phone and wanted to go home.
He was charged with felony failure to obey a law enforcement officer’s order to stop.


Brothers duke it out with garbage cans, shovels and knives March 10, 2014

Their names were not Cain and Abel, but their fight was similarly epic.

sfl-flduh-brothers-garbage-shovels-knives-2014-002The battle between the brothers began on Feb. 27 at a Cat Mar Road residence, according to an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, where a deputy answered a call to investigate a fight.

“Upon arriving on scene I saw the defendant, Thomas (Alan) Mealer, and (the) victim/brother … outside of the trailer,” the deputy wrote in the report. “The defendant was swinging a garbage can at (his brother) and (his brother) had a pocket knife in his hand. I immediately gave verbal commands to both the defendant and (his brother) to drop the weapons.”

Mealer dropped the garbage can and his brother threw away the knife. The deputy noted Mealer’s brother was bleeding from his forehead but detained him first because of the knife. EMS came to the scene but Mealer’s brother refused medical treatment.

The person who called the Sheriff’s Office said the two had been yelling all day, and at one point the yelling got louder so she peeked out her window. It was then she saw Mealer hit his brother in the face with a shovel.

The deputy noted Mealer “appeared highly intoxicated.” He said he and his brother had been arguing because his brother said none of the family members loved nor cared about Mealer. He denied knowing anything about a shovel, but then said his brother pulled a knife on him at which point he hit him in the head with a shovel.

The deputy retrieved the shovel and noted it appeared to have hair on the corner.

Mealer was charged with aggravated battery using a deadly weapon and will appear before a judge on April 8.


It’s all fun and games at the Florida State Fair until 99 people get kicked out and a giant fight erupts, complete with candy apple throwing February 10, 2014

Still0206_00002Innocent fair goers were knocked to the ground after fights broke out Friday night.

Fair officials decided to close the fair early after 99 people were ejected and 12 were arrested.

David Donohue says a day at the fair for him and his sons quickly turned from fun to frightening.

“We were standing in front of a ride and a rush came by and I got knocked up next to one of the booths,” says Donohue.

Moments later, he realized he was caught in-between a fight breaking out along the Midway.

“He hit me here on the temple and it hurt really bad,” says David’s son.

“They trampled me and another guy came and stepped on my chest,” says David’s other son, Mason.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says close to 100 people were ejected for fighting.

“We had one deputy who was pulling off one kid and got attacked from another kid,” says Colonel Jim Previtera.

A window on a food stand was replaced after falling victim to someone’s punch.

“They were stealing candy apples from [there] and throwing them at are deputies,” says Previtera.

The sheriff’s office says it had no choice but to decide to close the fair down early.

“We made the best decision to close this place down,” says Previtera.

For Donohue, he says something has to change before he decides to go back.

“I was just horrified and that’s why I called Channel 10. I wanted people to know what happened,” says Donohue.

The sheriff’s office says fights are not acceptable and they will make sure it doesn’t happen again. They have guys in uniforms and street clothes monitoring the midway all throughout the day while the fair is open.


Baby stroller, gun, wrench, truck and broom handle used in attack, deputies say February 5, 2014

A baby stroller. A socket wrench. A Ford pickup. A broom handle. And a revolver.

bildeA 21-year-old man was in jail Monday, accused of hitting or threatening a childhood acquaintance with all five items Friday because he was unhappy about how his pickup was running.

Jamaal Tarshae Johnson of 3109 Crystal Hills Loop S., Lakeland, faces an assortment of charges, including aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, because he pointed a gun at Randall Settles, 22, of Fletcher Avenue, Lakeland, according to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

Settles had been working on Johnson’s 1999 Ford F-250 for a week and a half before Friday’s incident, according to the report. The two men have known each other since they were children, the report said.

Johnson was unhappy with how it was running after a test drive near 3018 Crystal Hills Drive, Lakeland, and Settles explained that he couldn’t fix the truck any better without parts.

After Settles left to walk home, Johnson followed him with the truck and struck him from behind in an empty lot. The impact threw Settles about 10 feet and knocked him to the ground, the report said.

The arrest report said Johnson got out of the truck and began hitting Settles with a broom handle.

After the altercation, Settles asked Kenneth Foster Johnson, who is not related to the suspect, to drive him home. The men stopped at a convenience store at 2934 S. Combee Road, Lakeland.

Jamaal Johnson is accused of pulling his truck to block the two men in the parking lot. He got out of his vehicle and approached the two men with a revolver, according to the report.

He pointed the gun at Settles, deputies reported.

As the altercation continued, Johnson went back to his truck and “armed himself with a baby stroller,” swinging it in the direction of Settles.

Johnson then grabbed a socket wrench and threw it through the open window of the car, hitting Settles in the face.

Settles was taken by ambulance to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for bruises on his shoulder and road rash on his legs from being hit by the truck, deputies said. He also received stitches on his cheek for the injury from the wrench, the report said.

Jamaal Johnson is being held in the Polk County Jail in lieu of $91,250 bail. He is charged with throwing a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle, aggravated stalking, aggravated assault, criminal mischief, armed false imprisonment, aggravated battery and armed burglary.



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