The Bizarre World of Florida

Bicyclist jailed after placing fast food order November 21, 2014

A drunken New Smyrna Beach bicyclist whose drive-through order at Taco Bell was rejected because he wasn’t in a car refused to leave the restaurant then tussled with police, according to an arrest report.

sfl-flduh-bicyclist-fast-food-order-20141120-001Gabriel Harris, 33, was charged with resisting an officer with violence in the late-night incident and was out of the Volusia County Branch Jail on $1,000 bail, records show.

According to the report, Taco Bell workers called police at 3:10 a.m. Sunday after Harris and a woman, both intoxicated, would not leave the restaurant at 1860 State Road 44 in New Smyrna Beach.

Police found Harris on a bicycle by the menu speaker, a report states.

Aron Tobler, the employee, said he refused service to Harris and Sarah Haliburton because “they placed an order on bicycles” in the drive through window, the report states. Haliburton was not charged.

Police said Harris got to the restaurant after it closed at 3 a.m.

As police were asking Harris to leave, they spotted a red Swiss Army knife on Harris’ belt loop and tried to reach for it. Harris grabbed the officer’s wrist and Harris was wrestled to the ground and handcuffed. Harris suffered a scraped forehead, police said.


Florida man fatally shot after warning reckless driver to slow down around kids November 17, 2014

Police are searching for suspects in South Florida whom they say shot and killed a man after he warned them against reckless driving around children.

Florida-man-fatally-shot-after-warning-reckless-driver-to-slow-down-around-kidsInvestigators and several witnesses say Bradley Holt, 24, spotted a yellow Ford Mustang doing donuts and driving erratically outside of his apartment in Miami Thursday night.

One 12-year-old witness, Jarrod Smith, told WSVN that Holt had been playing football with him and some other children before he confronted the occupants of the vehicle, telling them to slow down.

Neighbors said they heard two gunshots, one of which struck Holt in the head. He died after being transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where his family had gathered for prayer.

Investigators currently lack information about the number of occupants in the Mustang, which was described as a 1988 or 1998 model convertible. No others were injured in the shooting.


Protip: Never use gasoline to start bonfires

Filed under: Bad Luck,Controversy,Dumb,Fire,Sad Story,Scary,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:35 pm

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: running to the sounds of an explosion, knowing their child is nearby.

635516733767630009-Still1115-00001That’s exactly what happened to one Polk County family as a can of gasoline exploded next to their 12-year-old daughter.

Today in Lakeland, dozens of volunteers soaked up and sprayed down cars to help raise money for Heather Tyer.

“She’s strong, she’s gonna be just fine,” Heather’s aunt Amanda Tyler told 10 News.

Less than a week ago her niece suffered burns over 70 percent of her body after the small gasoline tank she was standing next to exploded. She and her family were having a pit fire at her home. The gas was used to light the logs.

“Burn patients are so difficult from one minute to the next. you know, they can seem fine, and then things can go terribly wrong very quickly,” said Polk County Fire Lieutenant Charles Irving.

Polk County girl had over 71 percent of her body burned

He was first on the scene, even rushing back to pick up Heather’s mother Amy to get her on the emergency helicopter flight to Tampa General.

Janice Anderson said she saw that helicopter heading to help.

“Knowing the love that you have with your child, it’s more than any love,” she said.

And when Anderson saw how many volunteers came out today, “it just gives me goosebumps,” she said.

And rightly so. In less than a week, friends, family and complete strangers raised more than $30,000 dollars to get Heather back and get her better.

But a warning from Lt. Irving, “gasoline is obviously not one of the better fuels to use. It flashes,” he said. “There has to be water on the site at all times, and someone attending to the fire at all times. And if we do that, tragedies like this can be avoided.


Have these people never heard of a gun safe or a lock? November 13, 2014

An 8-year-old boy was critically injured when he was accidentally shot in the head by his 9-year-old sister in DeLand on Wednesday evening, according to police.

buying-a-handgun-300x225The girl “somehow obtained a handgun that belonged to a parent” and was handling it when it discharged, grazing the boy in the head, police said.pic

The boy was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital. While police originally said the boy suffered non-life threatening injuries, further information revealed that the boy was actually struck by the bullet as opposed to just grazed, said DeLand police Sgt. Chris Estes.

The shooting occurred around 6:30 p.m. at a home in the 600 block of South Parsons Avenue.

There were three other children – all under 10 – also in the home alone at the time of the incident and were uninjured, said Estes.

Estes said two teenagers – 19 and 15 – were supposed to be watching the children but had gone to a nearby store and were on the way back when the incident occurred.

Those involved were not identified.

The incident remains under investigation.

No further details were released.


Man left girl, 3, at gym to go boozing

A man and woman are accused of dropping a child off at a gym so they could go drinking, according to a Palm Beach Gardens Police arrest report.

sfl-flduh-girl-gym-drinking-20141112-001Thomas Kern, 57, and Rossana Alvarez, 40, both of Palm Beach Gardens, both face child neglect charges and were held in Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $3,000 bail.

The incident happened Monday at the L.A. Fitness, 7070 Fairway Drive. A gym employee said she was opening the “Kids Klub,” an area where gymgoers can drop their kids off as they work out, when she found a 3-year-old girl inside.

The girl said she hadn’t eaten all day and despite the gym’s policy that kids can’t be left at the “Klub” for more than 2 hours, or leave the gym without the child, the girl’s parents weren’t around, according to the report. The employee told police the girl had been there for four hours and after trying numerous times to call the person who dropped the girl off, later identified as Kern, no one answered.

Kern and Alvarez eventually showed, police said. An officer said he questioned Kern about dropping the girl off and said, “Their plan was to do so with the intention of drinking,” according to the report.

Police did not specify the relationship of Kern and Alvarez to the girl.

Florida Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Paige Patterson-Hughes, said the girl is staying with a relative.


Vegan mom arrested over unhealthy newborn fights for baby’s custody November 12, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,Interesting,Lawsuit,Sad Story,Scary,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:42 pm

A new mother is fighting for custody of her son, who she hasn’t been alone with since he was 12 days old, because of her vegan beliefs.

CASS-BABY-VEGAN_MOM.transfeSarah Markham’s baby was taken from her because she opted not to take him to the hospital when he was losing weight.

Instead, she told investigators she wanted to try feeding him vegan formula.

Now she’s fighting to get him back while she faces criminal charges.

“They’ve kept a child away from mom,” said attorney Mark O’Mara. “My client can only see her child once a week or twice a week because they’re requiring the child be out of county.”

Sarah Markham was arrested in June when her son was less than two weeks old. He had lost 10 percent of his body weight.

But instead of taking the boy to the hospital under doctors’ orders, Markham wanted to try supplementing breast milk with vegan formula.

Markham is a Seventh-day Adventist, according to an arrest report, and holistic healing is in line with her beliefs.

Channel 9’s Karla Ray asked O’Mara if it rose to the level of child neglect.

“Not even close,” O’Mara said. “It’s absurd. It’s a mom trying to do the best she can, acting as a vegan which she has the entire right to do taking care of her child.”

O’Mara said Markham is only allowed supervised visitation a few times a week at the order of Seminole County Child Protective Services.

Markham is set to face a judge on Nov. 12 to fight to regain custody of the now healthy boy while she faces criminal charges.

“She has done everything they’ve asked her to do: Mental health evaluations, drug evaluations, parenting classes, everything they’ve asked her to do she’s done and she’s done it very well, and yet we have to go to trial on this tomorrow. It’s absurd,” said O’Mara.


Wedding ring causes Florida man’s electrocution November 11, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Death,Sad Story,Scary,Stupid,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:08 pm

A 33-year-old Central Florida man installing a dishwasher was electrocuted when his wedding ring came in contact with an unknown object, police said.

imagesSouth Daytona police said Jason Ferguson, of Port Orange, was at his in-laws’ home on Thursday when the fatal accident occurred.

Police said the family was getting ready to eat around 7 p.m. when they noticed that Ferguson was kneeling in front of the appliance with his left arm extended behind the dishwasher.

The family said Ferguson was turning red and was not responsive, so they grabbed him and began CPR, police said.

Ferguson was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center and later died.

Police said Ferguson, who the family said routinely installed and repaired items at the home, possibly came in contact with a copper wire.



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