The Bizarre World of Florida

Teen faces attempted murder charges after attacking boy with fluorescent light bulb. February 24, 2012

OCALA, Florida (AP) – A teen faces attempted murder charges after authorities say he used a fluorescent light bulb to repeatedly stab another boy at a north Florida behavioral health center.

Ocala police say a 15-year-old was in his room Wednesday when a 14-year-old boy entered the room and began stabbing him with the sharpened light bulb. Police say that after the light bulb shattered the boy began punching the victim in the face.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports the injured teen’s condition was serious, but not life-threatening.

Police say the suspect told them he wanted to kill the other boy because he had called him names.

Judge David B. Eddy ordered the teen held in a juvenile detention facility until his next court hearing.


Now we’ve reached another level of crazy: Judge tosses free speech lawsuit by man in gorilla suit

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,Dispute,Really Dumb,WTF? — floridaduh @ 3:56 pm

A federal judge has tossed out a Golden Gate Estates man’s lawsuit, ruling Naples Police officers did not violate his right to free speech when they arrested him for growling and wearing a gorilla suit with the N-word at a 2007 Martin Luther King Day celebration.

Because patrons at Cambier Park complained about Michael L. Anderson, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson ruled police had probable cause to arrest him when he returned and yelled after being told to leave.

“Although wearing the costume alone may be insufficient to rise to the level of a breach of the peace or disorderly conduct, event patrons reported … that Anderson was aggressively disturbing the patrons, scaring children, and disrupting the formal program that was under way on the stage in the park,” Magnuson wrote. “Moreover, Anderson returned to the area cordoned off for the event after Officer (Ralph) Anthony told him he would be arrested if he did so.”

The ruling staved off a trial next month in which Anderson, 50, of 730 First St. S.W., intended to argue police used excessive force and violated his constitutional rights. Anderson, who is black and works as a music manager, contended the $400 gorilla costume was a popular and “tremendously successful tool” he’d used to promote a rapper, his client, at other events.

Anderson filed a notice of appeal last week. He declined to comment, except to say, “That’s what appeals courts are for.”

The city’s attorney, Jim Fox, of Roetzel & Andress, praised the ruling, adding, “We’re glad the judge didn’t put up with this monkey business.”


Florida Rep. Richard Steinberg admits to harassing federal prosecutor Marlene Fernandez February 23, 2012

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,Dispute,Really Dumb,WTF? — floridaduh @ 4:45 pm

MIAMI – A Florida state lawmaker has admitted he repeatedly sent suggestive, harassing emails to a married female federal prosecutor for more than three months last fall.

The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that Rep. Richard Steinberg, a Miami Beach Democrat, acknowledged through a spokesman that he was responsible for the anonymous messages.

In his statement, Steinberg apologized to Assistant U.S. Attorney Marlene Fernandez, her husband and his constituents as well as to his wife.

“I acknowledge and take full responsibility for sending inappropriate and unsolicited messages to Mrs. Marlene Fernandez-Karvetsos, whom I have known for more than 15 years. I deeply regret and wholeheartedly apologize for the disrespect that I have shown her, her husband and my constituents,” he said in the statement.

“Most importantly, words cannot express how sorry I am to my wife, for the disrespect I have shown her, and my entire family.”

He made his admission after U.S. Secret Service investigators traced the messages to a phone and Internet account registered to Steinberg.

Steinberg did not offer an explanation for the texts.

The Herald reports Steinberg, who was in Tallahassee Wednesday for the 2012 Florida legislative session, has not been charged with anything, although court documents indicate investigators believe he may have been stalking, a misdemeanor charge.

Steinberg is a lawyer, married, who represents parts of Miami Beach in the Florida House. He is a former Miami Beach commissioner.

The Associated Press and CBS4 Miami


Here’s a tip for you: You can’t appeal a traffic ticket at a cop’s home.

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,Dispute,Florida Nut,Really Dumb,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 4:42 pm

A 53-year-old man accused of showing up at the home of a Port St. Lucie police officer who issued him a speeding ticket and telling the officer’s wife he wanted to talk to the officer “man-to-man” was arrested, according to a police report released Wednesday.

Ralph Ferretti was arrested Feb. 18 on a corrupt by threat public servant or family charge in connection with the incidents.

Officer Erik Levasseur had issued Ferretti the speeding ticket that day. After getting the ticket, Ferretti realized the officer lived across the street from a friend. Ferretti drove to his friend’s home and parked.

Levasseur’s wife told police Ferretti asked where “Dave” was. Levasseur’s wife also said that Ferretti started telling her Levasseur gave him a speeding ticket.

“I want to speak to him about it when the cop goes 10-7, man-to-man,” Ferretti is quoted as saying.

10-7 is a code used in police radio transmissions that means out of service or off duty.

Levasseur’s wife said Ferretti was “very agitated” and used profanity, according to the report.

Levasseur’s wife told Ferretti he needed to calm down and that perhaps later he could talk with “Dave,” who then could talk to Levasseur.

Levasseur’s wife called her husband. As she spoke to him, she said Ferretti was in the driveway across the street. She said he opened his trunk and moved things that she couldn’t see.

She said he had his arms crossed and stared at her home in a “menacing manner,” the report states. Levasseur’s wife appeared shaken from the incident.

Ferretti was released Sunday from the St. Lucie County jail on a $2,500 bond, a jail official said Wednesday.


These two men wanted to lay some rubber. Now they’re in a heap of trouble.

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,Dispute,Florida Nut,Fraud,Really Dumb,WTF? — floridaduh @ 4:39 pm
Polk County Sheriff’s Environmental Crimes deputies, working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), arrested two men on Tuesday, February 21, 2012, after locating over 8,000 tires they had gathered as part of their business and then illegally dumped in Lake Wales.On Tuesday, February 21st, deputies received information that a large amount of tires could be seen from the roadway piled up under a pole barn at a private residence located at 5310 Sand Dollar Road located in Lake Wales Estates, Lake Wales. PCSO Environmental Crimes deputies and agents with FDEP responded to the residence and saw the pole barn, with approximately 7,800 tires piled within, and a semi box trailer parked nearby, containing another 500 tires, apparently waiting to be offloaded.

Deputies interviewed Robert Bickford, DOB 6/30/1981, who lives at the Sand Dollar Road address, who informed them that his employer, Kenneth M. Lowman, DOB 10/21/1943, of 477 Enclave Place in Lakeland, paid him to let Lowman’s business Greenway Tire dump the tires there.

Lowman’s company, Greenway Tire, located in Lakeland, is only permitted to transport waste tires. The business profits by collecting and removing waste tires from smaller businesses, such as automotive centers. The business is then responsible for transporting the tires to a licensed, permitted waste tire or tire recycling facility. Instead, Lowman had tractor-trailer loads of tires delivered to Bickford’s property. The property owned by Bickford is not licensed to store or process waste tires. The waste tires deputies found there were within 200 feet of a natural body of water, and less than 500 feet from a potable well. Deputies also found evidence that the tires were being illegally burned on the property.

Lowman was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail on one felony count of Illegal Dumping. He has been released on bail.

Bickford was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail on one count each Failure to Obtain Waste Tire Permit, Storage of Waste Tires at a Non-Permitted Facility, Open Burning Within 50 Feet of a Residence, Storage of Waste Tires Within 200 Feet of Natural Water, Storage of Waste Tires Within 500 Feet of Potable Water Supply, Burning of Rubber Material, Burning of Prohibited Materials, and Storage of Solida Waste at Unpermitted Facility. He remains in the Polk County Jail on $4500 bond.


Man says keister kissing invite issued in handicap parking flap February 22, 2012

Filed under: Bad Temper,Bizzarre,Controversy,Dispute,Florida Nut,Really Dumb,WTF? — floridaduh @ 3:29 pm

Problems for Michael Dean Arnold began when he got to the Main Street Post Office.

It was about 2 p.m. Feb. 14, and, as he told Sebastian police, he spied a woman’s car parked partially in a handicap spot.

“Nice parking job,” Arnold, 55, said he told the woman, according to a recently released arrest affidavit.

“Mr. Arnold advised that (the woman) told him to kiss her (buttocks), at which time he told her to (fellate him),” the affidavit states.

Arnold said the woman got in her vehicle and left. He followed. Arnold told police the woman should be arrested “for her rude comments and for parking in the handicap spot.”

Investigators tried to explain that rude name calling isn’t grounds for arrest, and that parking offenses are civil and must be witnessed by a law enforcement official.

“Well, then you need to tell that (disparaging female genitalia reference) to not park in the handicap spot,” the affidavit states.

Arnold pulled his arm away from police, and an officer pulled a Taser.

Investigators “assisted” Arnold to the ground. Arnold is accused of punching a corporal who was “assisting” him to the ground.

Arnold was arrested on charges including breach of peace, resist officer with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer.

The affidavit didn’t state whether Arnold or the woman had a disabled parking permit, which should be suspended from a vehicle’s rearview mirror.


Here we go again: Homeless man arrested in machete attack February 21, 2012

A 36-year-old man was arrested Friday after investigators say he attacked another man with a machete at a homeless camp in Port  Charlotte.

Ernesto Castro was booked into the Charlotte County Jail on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

The incident started at a camp in the area of Barret   Street and Delia Avenue, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim told investigators that Castro became upset that someone had stolen his cell phone, then went to his camp nearby to retrieve a machete. As Castro returned, investigators say the victim put on gloves and grabbed an axe handle to defend himself.

Investigators say he was able to block several blows but was also struck numerous times resulting in a broken hand and cut tendon. He was later taken to Peace River  Regional Medical  Center for treatment.

Castro was taken to jail and held on $5,000 bond.


Mom faces charges, daughter missed nearly 2 years of school

CLERMONT, Fla. —A central Florida mother is in trouble with the law because her daughter missed nearly two years of school.

The State Attorney’s Office said Elizabeth Marrero’s daughter missed nearly two full years of school at Windy Mill Middle in Clermont. The girl hasn’t attended classes since the 2009-2010 school year.

Lake County school district officials said they tried working with Marrero to get her daughter back to school, but nothing worked.

So as last resort, they sent the case over to the state attorney’s office, which put a warrant out for her arrest.

Marrero turned herself into the sheriff’s office last week.

School officials would not release the girl’s age or name because of  confidentiality rules. They did say the girl only attended five days of  school during the normal 180-day school year.

School officials say the girl should now be in high school, but she never completed middle school.

Marrero’s neighbors couldn’t believe the news.

“I mean two years? A couple of months okay. Two years? That’s too much. She needs to be arrested and prosecuted,” said neighbor Abe Desouza.

“It’s shocking because why wouldn’t a parent send their kid to school?” said Francis Pimento, Marerro’s neighbor.

Marrero has since bonded out of jail. She’s charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

A judge will decide if Marrero will be sentenced to any jail time. The offense she faces is a second-degree misdemeanor.


Florida ice cream shop in Ku Klux Klan controversy shuts down. February 20, 2012

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,Dispute,Really Dumb,WTF? — floridaduh @ 3:53 pm

Notoriety over a costumed ice cream cone mascot mistaken by a passersby for a Ku Klux Klan protestor apparently did not result in more customers for a Florida ice cream shop.

Photos: Ice cream costume looks like KKK hood

The Ocala Star Banner reported Saturday that the Ice Cream Family Corner & Sandwiches had closed for good.

The shop closed for roof repairs just before Christmas but never reopened. Robert Wilson, the attorney for the property owner, told the newspaper that the ice cream shop’s lease was terminated Feb. 2.

The shop garnered national media attention in September after the costume worn by a man hired to promote the business was misidentified. The costume had a brown, waffled bottom and a fluffy, pointed white top, flecked with colorful sprinkles — and looked nothing like a Klan robe and hood.


What a guy: grandma beaten for refusing grandson drug money. Grandma???? February 16, 2012

A man beat his 84-year-old grandmother because she refused to give him money to buy drugs, a sheriff’s investigator said.

Steven Saul, 34, who lives with his grandmother, was charged with aggravated battery on a person older than 65, an arrest report shows.

Saul is in the Volusia County Branch Jail without bail but is currently at first appearance, a booking officer said.

According to the arrest report, a deputy responded to the Bailey Avenue home Tuesday at 2:05 p.m. after Lucille Cameron called to report she had been assaulted.

Cameron came home and her grandson started arguing with her over money he wanted to purchase drugs, the deputy said.

The elderly woman tried to leave the home but as she stepped out of the front door, Saul pushed her from behind causing Cameron to slam against her car, deputies said. The deputy found smudge marks on the rear passenger side window where Cameron’s face slammed into it, the report states.

The grandmother injured her ear when her face hit the car’s window, the report said.

After shoving the woman down, Saul entered the passenger side of the car and tried to wrench his grandmother’s purse from her grip but she managed to hold on to it, the deputy wrote in his report.

Read more: http://www.news-journalonline.com/breakingnews/2012/02/deltona-grandmother-beaten-for-refusing-to-give-grandson-money-for-drugs.html



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