The Bizarre World of Florida

Teacher blew a .27 two hours after she was pulled over .. on her way to school at 7:00 a.m. April 16, 2014

0416_nclo_vaughn_nancy_t120A high school teacher was arrested and charged with driving under the influence while on her way to school on a Monday morning.

Nancy Vaughn, a 57-year-old reading teacher at a high school in Estero, Fla., was pulled over shortly before 7 a.m. after the Lee County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a car driving erratically near the school, swerving in and out of lanes. Vaughn denied being under the influence of any substances and stated that she was on her way to work.

However, when Vaughn failed a field sobriety test, the officer arrested her on suspicion of DUI. She ended up having Breathalyzer test readings of 0.26 and 0.27, more than three times the legal limit, when she was tested about two hours later, reported the Naples Daily News.

Vaughn is on probation related to a May 2013 DUI to which she pleaded no contest. She received one year county probation and a one-year license revocation as part of her plea agreement, though she was allowed to drive to and from work.


Woman with heroin, needles arrested after leaving $50 at gas station

Accidently leaving a $50 bill on a gas-station counter was the least of one woman’s concerns Tuesday morning.

sfl-flduh-drug-gas-station-20140415-001Christina Hines, 30, had heroin and hypodermic needles in her Honda and was driving on a suspended license. And ever since she left the gas station, a patrol car had been on her tail.

That’s because the deputy simply wanted to do a good deed by returning the cash. Hines was arrested after leading officers on a pursuit and speeding over a tire-flattening device near U.S. Highway 17-92 and State Road 436, a report said.

She is being held in the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford on charges of resisting an officer, heroin possession, driving while license suspended and possession of drug-use equipment.

The incident started around 3 a.m. at a gas station on S.R. 436 in Casselberry, a report said.

A deputy saw a clerk run out after Hines after she left the bill. But she drove off without the cash.

The deputy went after Hines, caught up with her, ran her tags and turned on his patrol lights, prompting her to drive away and sparking the pursuit.


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.


Sara Zamora Is A Sick Bitch, She Created Animal Snuff Films April 8, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Animal Abuse,Bizzarre,Death,Florida Nut,Sad Story,Sick,WTF? — floridaduh @ 7:54 pm

A Miami woman took fetish pornography to a disturbing extreme, police say — repeatedly decapitating live chickens and killing rabbits while engaging in sex acts during the filming of an animal torture video.

SIMG_20140405_154810_zpsvvfsuu7rara Zamora, 28, was arrested Friday on eight felony counts of animal cruelty for her feature role in a video called “SOS Barn” that a Miami-Dade police arrest report described in gory, stomach-turning detail.

“The chicken is enduring extreme pain and suffering during this process,” according to the arrest report.

The video clips — filmed for a twisted animal torture genre called “crush” — depicted her and other porn actresses “torturing and killing a wide variety of animals, including chickens, rabbits and more for the sexual gratification of its viewers,” according to police.

The barnyard snuff video was filmed at the South Miami-Dade home of Adam Redford, according to the police report, who is listed as a co-defendant. He is already on probation for a similar animal cruelty case in Lee County last year but had not been charged in the Miami-Dade case as of Friday night.

Redford, a boat captain who claims on his website to have filmed a variety of videos “related to South Florida fishing,” said he knew nothing about Zamora’s case.

“I haven’t seen or talked to her in close to a year,” Redford said.

Detectives from Miami-Dade’s agricultural unit learned of the video clips from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a prominent animal rights group.

Stephanie Bell, director of cruelty cases for PETA, called the arrest “excellent news. We have been waiting for this.”

Bell said the group also had tipped off authorities in Redford’s case in Lee County, where she said he had moved. Bell said such videos, graphically depicting animal torture and death, are illegal under state and federal laws.

“These videos are unfortunately in demand and it’s hard to fathom that anyone would produce or enjoy them,” she said.

In one clip of “SOS Barn,” Miami-Dade police say, Zamora gropes a man’s genitals with her left hand while “repeatedly cutting a chicken’s neck using hedge clippers with her right.” In others, she posed “in a sexy outfit” after hacking off the head of another screaming bird, or she beat chickens to death with a wooden stick.

Chickens weren’t the only victims. She also karate-chopped the necks of several rabbits as they howled in pain, according to the report, then admitted to killing them.

On the Internet, Zamora goes by the moniker Gloria Shynez. On a website called Model Mayhem, Zamora claims she has been “modeling” since age 19. Her rates are flexible.

“My middle-eastern look distinguishes from many models and I am so excited to see what fun, beautiful shots we create together!” she writes.

Zamora was arrested while already in jail. She had been on probation on two separate cases, on charges including grand-theft with a firearm, credit card fraud, possession of a fictitious driver’s license and cocaine possession. If convicted on the animal cruelty charges, she could face up to five years in prison on each count.

She had been in jail for the past month after failing a probation drug test but would likely have been released Friday “if not for the fickle finger of fate,” said defense attorney Theodore Mastos.

On Friday, Miami-Dade prosecutor Jason Pizzo informed the court and Mastos of the new charges. Mastos, while questioning whether the state could mount a “viable prosecution,” told the Miami Herald he was shown portions of the video outside court during a brief hearing.

“I’m glad I didn’t have breakfast because I would have puked all over the place,” said Mastos, who used to prosecute pornography cases in the 1970s. “It was disgusting.”

As for Redford, he is on probation in a 2013 case on charges of causing the cruel death and torturing of animals in Lee County. On Friday, he acknowledged the earlier arrest was a matter of public record but that “it had been resolved.”

So-called “crush” animal torture videos aren’t new and have been the target of past legal crackdowns. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that outlawed depictions of animals being “intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or killed,” saying it was too broad and violated the right to free speech.

The federal law had been aimed at videos that often depict women slowly crushing animals to death “with their bare feet or while wearing high heeled shoes,” sometimes while “talking to the animals in a kind of dominatrix patter,” the opinion read.

But the 2010 decision did not apply to the actual acts themselves of extreme cruelty to animals — and did not preclude the passing of future laws that narrowly applied to crush videos.



Dad uses son, 2, as human shield to avoid arresting officer

sfl-dad-uses-son-2-to-stop-officer-from-arrest-001A Brevard County man used his 2-year-old child to shield himself from an officer trying to arrest him on shoplifting charges, according to a report.

Edward L. Smathers Jr., 39, has been charged with grand theft, aggravated child neglect, resisting an officer and probation violation in the Sunday afternoon incident.

Melbourne police say Smathers took $500 worth of items from Home Depot on Wickham Road, put them down the front of his pants and walked out of the store without paying.

When Smathers was confronted by an officer, police say he tried to push past the officer and go back to his vehicle. According to the report, as the officer was attempting to arrest Smathers, Smathers picked up his 2-year-old child from the backseat to prevent the officer from putting him under arrest.

Samthers was then arrested and later said that he was using his son to prevent the officer from arresting him.


Vampires, nudists, snakes: Nobody does wacky like Florida April 7, 2014


By: Scott Maxwell

Last week, news broke that a congressional candidate in Gainesville had a secret pastime: impersonating vampires. And superheroes.

Some people would call this nutty.

In Florida, we just call it Tuesday.

Seriously, that’s not even our highest-profile vampire story. Remember the “vampire killings” from Lake County?

Some of our stories are heartbreakingly tragic. But so many are also mind-numbingly strange.

In Florida, we do weird the way Kansas does wheat.

Here, giant pet snakes escape. And breed. And then invade our national parks.

We have fish that eat people, alligators that eat people and people who eat people.

Two years ago, when news of the “cannibal attack” broke, the nation let out a collective gasp … until learning it was Miami. Then it all made sense.

We have killer amoebas, hanging chads and diaper-wearing astronauts. (All of which would make awesome rock-band names, by the way.)

We have a town named Christmas … where it never snows. We have the world’s smallest post office and a couple trying to build America’s largest house.

I used to think Florida attracted wacky people. Now I think it creates them.

Take my grandfather, for example.

Early in his life, he was a NASA engineer in Virginia — and as strait-laced and buttoned-down as they came. His passions were photography and crossword puzzles.

Then he moved to Florida. After Grandma died, we worried that our sober and contemplative grandfather would become listless and uninspired.

He became neither of those things. Instead, he became a nudist. (Lending more credence to the notion that it’s never the people you want to see naked at a nudist resort.)

At first, we were all: What the heck, Granddad?

But you know what? He found new life and inspiration. He’d travel down Interstate4 from Ormond Beach to Cypress Cove, where he’d pay strict adherence to the two main rules: Never take pictures, and always place a towel on the bar stool before you sit down.

Florida liberated him. And he spent the remaining, widowed years of his life happy. So you go, Granddad.

By the way, nudity is another one of our weird themes.

•”Nude man found dead on killer whale’s back”

•”Florida Lotto winner seeks to open a nude dude ranch”

•”Blind woman sues nudist colony over heavy dog”

Florida newspapers carry such headlines the way other papers carry horoscopes.

Some of that is understandable. It’s hot down here.

And I don’t mean happy, sand-at-your-toes, wind-in-your-hair hot. I mean sweaty-thighs-stuck-to-your-car-seats, armpit-stains-like-dinner-plates hot. It’s enough to make anyone nutty. And naked.

But it cuts both ways. When it’s hot, it makes us crazy. When it’s pleasant, we attract other states’ crazies. I mean, if it’s January and you’re already planning to run a scam, con or heist, would you rather do it in Buffalo or Boynton Beach?

This state is also lousy with newspapers and TV stations, meaning we have more ink-stained wretches and blow-dried broadcasters than your average state to tell all the weird stories.

Finally, there’s our melting-pot effect.

You simply can’t throw so many different cultures together and not expect some fireworks.

But you know what? That is also part of what makes this state so splendidly unique.

We have character and texture — a bouillabaisse of native and newcomer, sinner and saint, scholar and simpleton.

It’s a fusion that produces a weeklong bacchanalia in Key West and pioneering medical research at the Burnham Institute.

It’s the reason Orlando can turn out just as many people for a Veterans Day parade as it does for Come Out With Pride.

And it explains how a mild-mannered rocket engineer can feel inspired to start a new life by ditching his pocket protector — along with everything else he’s wearing.

And, yes, it’s also how we end up with some of the wackiest politicians in America — including a vampire-impersonating, superhero-mimicking, punk-rock lawyer running for Congress.

Just what we need … another lawyer in Congress.


Man, 83, was having a bad day … he fights off three attackers then has his car stolen the next day April 2, 2014

poorguy_12881527_8colAn 83-year-old Pinellas Park man who was ambushed, beaten and stabbed by three teenagers is a victim again! This time it looks like those same suspects came back and stole his car.

All of this started Tuesday around 10 a.m. when Charles Clark was getting out of his car at his apartment complex, when one of the suspects came from behind and started beating him and then stabbed him. Another person tried to beat Clark as well, but Clark was able to fight him off. He then screamed for help and once neighbors noticed what was going on, the three teens fled on their bikes.

At the time police didn’t think the teens were able to steal anything, but Clark said he thought they wanted his car. It turns out the suspects did steal his car keys and at some point late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, police believe they returned and took off in Clark’s car.

Around 4 a.m. police noticed Clark’s car was missing and found three bicycles near his parking spot. His vehicle was later found abandoned in a St. Petersburg neighborhood. It is currently being processed for evidence.

Police describe the suspects as two teenage boys — one in his early teens and the other in his late teens — and a girl in her early to mid teens with a heavier build and reddish, brown hair which she was seen continually trying to stuff into a gray hooded sweatshirt.

Below are surveillance images of two of the suspects riding bikes shortly before Tuesday’s attack:


Hard-boiled bandit poached rig with 180,000 eggs

Filed under: Fraud,Robbers,Sad Story,WTF? — floridaduh @ 8:09 pm

25124255_BG1Lee County deputies say someone stole an 80-foot semi-truck carrying nearly 200,000 eggs over the weekend.

“That’s one helluva (sic) omelet,” giggled John Dube, who lives in Fort Myers.

For a truck driver and his family, this is no laughing matter.

“It’s fairly new. It’s not a run down, worn out, piece of equipment. It is worth a lot of money,” said Angie Carlisle, whose husband’s semi-truck and trailer was stolen from a south Fort Myers 7-Eleven Saturday night.

“What they took was part of our livelihood, and the folks that run this company, their livelihood,” said Carlisle.

Carlisle said her husband, Joe, had been parking his semi-truck and trailer behind the 7-Eleven for the last five months.

While he was just a mile down the road at his Fort Myers home, someone hopped in his rig and took off – stealing close to 200,000 eggs along with it.

“While there’s no rig, there’s no loads to run, there’s no income,” Carlisle said.

“He feels responsible, even though it’s not his fault. Just kind of stunned at the moment. He’s just stunned,” Angie said.

There were no cameras behind the 7-Eleven to capture the crook. The truck cost close to $250,000.

“I would check Miami, because I’ve had people that have had stolen trucks and things and they end up in Miami,” said Dube.

Carlisle says Monday morning someone said they spotted the truck at a toll way on Alligator Alley.

If you have any information about the truck, call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 477-1000.


Passengers upset after cruise ship changes itinerary because they had to pick up 41 Cubans floating in the sea March 31, 2014

1396140905152Two Lakeland families set out on a spring break cruise from the Port of Miami on Monday, but a change in plans left them unsatisfied with their trip.

“We had booked a western Caribbean because we wanted to go to Mexico, so we were excited about that and we had a really interesting excursion that we had talked up with the kids,” Kevin Bailey said.

But that excitement quickly took a turn off course. The ship went on a rescue mission, which brought 41 Cuban migrants onboard the Carnival Ecstasy. The Coast Guard eventually picked up the Cubans.

“The atmosphere on board, everyone was happy. They were clapping. They were excited that we were going to be a part of possibly something great,” Bailey said.

What Kevin Bailey and the rest of the people on board didn’t know was the Mexican destination they had planned and paid for would now have to be changed because of the rescue.

“About 10:30 or so that night the captain came back on and said we are actually headed back towards Key West and we will no longer be going to Cozumel but instead you get to go to the Bahamas,” said Horvatin.

Both families said the Bahamian destination wasn’t kid friendly, and the trip they paid for to Mexico costs more than a trip to the Bahamas. So they said they lost money, their sense of security and their faith in the cruise line.

“It was a multitude of things,” Bailey said. “The kids weren’t happy. They didn’t have any fun and then they didn’t get to do what they had planned on doing. So it was a terrible experience.”

Carnival Cruise Lines gave the following statement regarding the trip:

“The ship’s itinerary did have to be modified based on the amount of time it took for the rescue…When it comes to assisting individuals stranded at sea, conducting rescue operations and potentially saving lives takes precedence over maintaining a scheduled itinerary.”

It’s something both families say they sympathize with but they plan to dispute.

Officials from Carnival Cruise Lines said since they substituted the people on board with the Bahamian destination, there will be no additional compensation for passengers.


Off-Duty Deputy Shoots Man After Catching Couple Having Sex in Community Pool

reflections+of+boca+del+marAuthorities say an off-duty deputy shot a man after a confrontation with a couple that was having sex in the pool of a Boca Raton housing complex, according to NBC affiliate WPTV.

The deputy, who lives in Reflections of Boca del Mar at 5500 Pacific Blvd, said he found the couple engaging in sexual activity, WPTV reported. He told the couple that he is a deputy and asked them to leave the premises.

Although they left reluctantly, the couple returned a short time later and the man approached the deputy, who was sitting in a lounge chair, according to WPTV.

The man was reportedly hovering over the deputy in a threatening manner, leading to a confrontation in which the man attempted to strike the deputy and the deputy opened fire.

The man is now in critical condition at Delray Medical Center, according to WPTV.

Detectives are investigating the incident, and the unnamed deputy has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol.



The man was reportedly hovering over the deputy in a threatening manner, leading to a confrontation in which the man attempted to strike the deputy and the deputy opened fire.

The man is now in critical condition at Delray Medical Center, according to WPTV.

Detectives are investigating the incident, and the unnamed deputy has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol.



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