The Bizarre World of Florida

Mom jailed after shooting at deadly snake October 20, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,Dangerous Nut,Guns,Shooting,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:08 pm

A Panama City woman has been taken to jail after allegedly trying to gun down a snake on a local school campus.

april-demarcoApril Dawn DeMarco, 30, was arrested for discharging a .380-caliber handgun on the practice football field of Bay High School, 300 E. 15th St., during practice last week for the local Pop Warner football team. Demarco apparently borrowed the pistol from Miren Gregory, 31, to protect nearby children after a group of parents found a water moccasin on the field, police reported.

Coaches and parents told the children to get out of the area after finding the moccasin. Gregory told DeMarco she had a concealed carry permit and a handgun after some of the coaches tried to kill the snake by hitting it with sticks.

One parent forewarned the women that having a firearm on school grounds was against the law when DeMarco said, “I will take the blame,” the parent told police.

The children were about 20 to 50 yards away when Demarco took one shot at the snake, missing wide.

Attempts to contact DeMarco Wednesday were unsuccessful.

DeMarco told police she had the gun on school grounds and shot it there to protect the children, herself being a parent, police reported. However, discharging a firearm on school grounds is a felony. DeMarco was arrested Monday for discharging a firearm on school property and possession of a firearm on school property.

State law also prohibits people with concealed weapons permits from bringing weapons on a school campus during any event not related to those weapons. Gregory was arrested Tuesday on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a firearm on school property.

Police reports contain no word on the fate of the snake.


“Misunderstood” man accused of armed robbery of beachgoers October 13, 2014

Filed under: Controversy,Dangerous Nut,Guns,Robbers,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 9:15 pm

To avoid any misunderstanding, Jonathan Warrenfeltz broadcast his status in life with big tattooed letters emblazoned across his forehead: “Misunderstood.”

sfl-flduh-misunderstood-robbery-20141010-001And the word was there in all its glory when, police said, Warrenfeltz and a companion robbed five beachgoers at gunpoint in Dania Beach. In fact, the tattoo was how the victims readily identifed the ex-convict as their assailant.

The suspects also made a wrong turn during their getaway, and left a trail of stolen items behind. They were in custody within 30 minutes.

Warrenfeltz, 24, Fort Lauderdale, and Joshua Zeaya, 23, no known address, were held without bond Wednesday on five counts each of robbery with a firearm. Zeaya was also charged with aggravated battery and battery causing bodily harm, records show.

Seven witnesses identified Warrenfeltz from several facial tattoos, including “Misunderstood” in cursive script. He apparently got the tattoo after his release from prison Feb. 1, records showed.

According to arrest reports, Warrenfeltz, Zeaya and two women drove in a 2002 Toyota Camry to the Dania Beach Pier near 300 N. Beach Rd. about 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Zeaya and Warrenfeltz approached four women and a man sitting on the beach. Zeaya demanded their valuables while holding a gun partially concealed under his T-shirt, according to Detective Marcos Toledo.

“It was a long gun, whether a rifle or shotgun I don’t know,” Toledo said Thursday during a first appearance hearing. “They stole over $1,500 in property from the five individuals.”

Jonathan Warrenfeltz, 24, is accused of robbing five beach-goers at gun point in Dania Beach (Broward Sheriff’s Office, courtesy)
Zeaya threatened to hurt anyone who failed to cooperate. They handed over their property to Warrenfeltz, but Zeaya still hit one of the women in the head with the gun and kicked her hip. He also kicked the man in the chest, reports said.

“After they stole the property from the victims they jumped into a vehicle and fled the scene into a Motel 6,” Toledo said.

But the suspects left a trail of evidence between the crime scene and the motel, Toledo said.

“After the [suspects] took off they started throwing property out of the vehicle until they reached Motel 6,” he said. “We did find in the vehicle credit cards, ID cards and wallets as well as a backpack belonging to the victims.”

No gun was found. “We’re still searching,” Toledo said.

The suspects made a wrong turn, Toledo said, and drove all the way to the end of John U. Lloyd State Park before turning around and heading for the motel at 825 E. Dania Beach Blvd.

Assistant Public Defender Dale Miller argued that the lack of a firearm should result in reduced charges. “If there’s no rifle, there’s no proof evident and presumption great that there was a rifle involved in this case,” he said.


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.


Armed man threatened Checker’s clerk over hamburger order September 19, 2014

A man was arrested Tuesday after he threatened to shoot a Checkers drive-thru clerk if he didn’t give him a hamburger, according to a report.

sfl-flduh-shoot-checkers-clerk-hamburger-20140-001West Palm Beach police said Dechazo Harris, 27, pulled up just after 1:30 a.m. on March 29 to a Checkers drive-thru, 1209 N. Dixie Highway. He ordered a meal at the speaker, pulled around to the window and wanted to submit another order, according to an arrest report.

But the clerk told him he would have to drive around to get a second order. Harris then pulled out his gun, according to police, and told the clerk to get him his second meal.

“Give me a hamburger or I’ll shoot you,” he said as he got out of the car, according to the report.

The two passengers in his car persuaded him not to shoot the clerk, so he got back in his car, got his meal and left, according to the report.

Officers were able to get Harris’ license tag number off of his car from security footage. They arrested him on Tuesday, and he is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on $5,000 bail.

He faces aggravated assault charges.


Strolling drunken man fired AK-47 in neighborhood September 17, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,Dangerous Nut,Dumb,Guns,Scary,Shooting,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 8:56 pm

A Deltona man told deputies he was trying to release some built-up anger Tuesday morning when he fired off multiple rounds from an AK-47 rifle while walking around his neighborhood, Volusia County deputies said.

sfl-flduh-drunken-man-ak-47-20140916-001Frederick Wenzel IV said he was upset because he’s 28 and had to move back in with his parents, so he drank several beers before taking a walk with his firearm in tow, according to a sheriff’s charging affidavit. Multiple residents of homes on Joyner Drive told deputies they could hear the gunshots and a man yelling about 5:30 a.m.

Wenzel said he never intended to hurt anyone, but he had thought about shooting at the K-9 officer he saw looking for him, according to the affidavit. Children who had arrived at school bus stops in the area were told to return home to ensure their safety.

Wenzel was arrested and charged with six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, open carrying of weapons and carrying a concealed firearm, records show. He was being held later Tuesday at the Volusia County Branch Jail without bail.


Woman pulled gun on lawn worker for making too much noise September 10, 2014

sfl-flduh-gun-lawn-worker-noise-20140909-001A local woman is accused of threatening to shoot a lawn maintenance worker because he woke her up, according to the Ormond Beach Police Department.

Police said Gina Briggs, 26, pointed the gun at the victim because he was making too much noise on Oriole Circle Monday morning.

Briggs later told detectives that she would have shot the worker in the head, but didn’t because she forgot to load the gun.

Briggs was booked at the Volusia County Jail and charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of carrying a concealed firearm.


His officers are probably getting a bang out of their chief’s blunder August 28, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Dumb,Guns,Interesting,OK Then .....,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:00 pm

Daytona Beach police Chief Mike Chitwood was stopped by security at Orlando International Airport last week after a gun was found in his carry-on luggage, officials confirmed Wednesday.

sfl-flduh-police-chief-gun-airport-20140827-001Chitwood was stopped at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint about 8 p.m. Thursday after a screener noticed the gun, police said.

“Chief Chitwood was escorted from the checkpoint to safely secure his weapon before he was allowed to board his flight,” Orlando police said in a statement. The chief was not arrested and is not facing charges.

OPD noted that sworn officers are permitted to travel armed, if they complete the TSA’s Law Enforcement Officers Flying Armed program.

However, officers can only carry on weapons under that program if they “need to have the weapon accessible,” determined on a case-by-case basis, the TSA website states.

Chitwood’s boss, City Manager James Chisholm, said Chitwood is human “like all the rest of us,” adding it was “certainly no cause for us to take any action against the chief.”

Chitwood said the situation resulted from a “stupid oversight” on his part. He said he changed in his department’s locker room after work, before driving to OIA to catch a flight to New Jersey to visit family.

He said he had two bags, one for work clothes and another for civilian clothes. Changing hurriedly, he put his ankle holster and the Remington revolver it held in the wrong bag, he said.

He said officers were “extremely professional,” securing the gun, interviewing him and eventually clearing him to board his flight.

“Outside of being absolutely embarrassed, I thought: ‘I’m getting locked up!'” Chitwood said, recalling his judgmental reaction to stories of others who’ve mistakenly brought guns to the airport.

“I’ve read these things and I’ve always said… ‘How stupid could you be to do that?'”



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 21,837 other followers