floridaduh

The Bizarre World of Florida

Man critically injured after being run over by street sweeper … he was the driver July 23, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Scary,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:41 pm

A worker was seriously injured Tuesday morning in St. Petersburg after being run over by a street sweeper he was operating.

Street-sweeper-722According to St. Petersburg police, 54-year-old Mark John Tucker, of Tarpon Springs, suffered upper torso injuries in the accident at Jefferson Circle North and Fourth Street North. The accident happened just after 8 a.m. as the sweeper operator was attempting to get on the vehicle, police say.

The vehicle began to move as the man attempted to climb on, causing him to fall. The vehicle continued moving and ran over the man’s upper body.

Tucker was rushed to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with what appeared to be critical injuries, according to police.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the accident.

 

Man Caught In The Act Of Molesting Child Gets Severe Beatdown July 21, 2014

A father who walked in on a man allegedly sexually assaulting his 11-year-old son beat the man to a pulp before calling police to say they could come collect him from a ‘bloody puddle’ on his floor.

Raymond-FrolanderThe 35-year-old man, who has not been identified, told a 911 dispatcher in the early hours of Friday: ‘I just walked in on a grown man molesting [name redacted]. And I got him in a bloody puddle for you right now, officer.’

Police arrived at the Daytona Beach home in Florida to find Raymond Frolander, 18, unconscious.

When the 911 responder asked the father if any weapons were involved, he said: ‘My foot and my fist’.

‘He is nice and knocked out on the floor for you, I dragged him into the living room,’ the father said. ‘Send an ambulance. He is going to need one.’

The dispatcher asked: ‘Is he still unconscious?’ to which the father responds: ‘Yes… I hit hard, sir.’

He said that Frolander was a ‘damn lucky boy that I love my God’.

The father added: ‘He stood up and his pants were around his ankles and nothing else needed to be said. I did whatever I got a right to do except I didn’t kill him.’

The father had left his home around 1am to pick up some food and when he returned, heard a strange noise coming from the bedroom, police said.

He pushed open the door and allegedly found Frolander with his pants down performing a sex act on the child.

The boy told investigators he had been playing video games with friends but when they left, Frolander took him to a back room and pulled down his pants. He also said Frolander had been abusing him for three years.

Daytona Beach police chief Michael Chitwood told MailOnline today that Frolander had a close family connection to the alleged victim.

The chief said the young boy was intimidated and told by Frolander that terrible things would happen if he revealed the abuse.

Chief Chitwood said: ‘He’s 11 years old, he should be running around outside and playing video games, not dealing with something like this.’

He earlier told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that the father was ‘just acting like a dad’.

The father was not charged in the suspect’s beating, police spokesman Jimmie Flynt said.

Frolander was taken to Halifax Heath Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries.

The arrest affidavit said that Frolander admitted the abuse.

The teen was charged with sexual battery on a child under 12 and is being held without bail. It was not known whether he’s hired a lawyer.

 

The ‘truth’ about Florida amusement parks

Filed under: WTF?,Scary,Interesting — floridaduh @ 1:32 pm

A man whose fingertips were severed aboard Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean this month made international news. Three months before that, it turns out, a 12-year-old boy lacerated four fingers on the same ride.

disney-worldThe incident involving the boy was one of a dozen significant injuries Walt Disney World reported to the state last week for the second quarter of 2014. Universal Orlando reported four injuries during the April-through-June time period.

Disney would not provide further details.

Five of Disney’s incidents, including the one involving the 12-year-old boy, were at the Magic Kingdom. Disney also reported that an 8-year-old girl briefly lost consciousness on Magic Carpets of Aladdin; a 64-year-old woman fell and fractured her fibula while exiting a vehicle at Tomorrowland Indy Speedway; a 68-year-old man fell exiting the Astro Orbiter and developed a blood clot in his leg; and a 72-year-old woman with a pre-existing condition briefly lost consciousness and fell after leaving Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Three Disney injuries stemmed from Epcot’s Mission: SPACE. Disney reported a 70-year-old woman complained of chest pain; a 58-year-old man with a pre-existing condition felt tightness in his chest and nausea; and a 54-year-old woman complained of motion sickness.

Also at Epcot, a 62-year-old woman fell on the walkway and injured her knee at the Seas with Nemo & Friends and a 51-year-old woman experienced nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath on Expedition Everest-Legend of the Forbidden Mountain.

In other Disney areas, a 68-year-old woman with a pre-existing condition felt tightness in her chest on Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom, and a 44-year-old man fractured his leg on Mayday Falls at Typhoon Lagoon.

At Universal, a 43-year-old woman complained of head and neck pain on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. A 61-year-old man felt weak after E.T. Adventure. A 15-year-old boy had “lowered level consciousness” on Revenge of the Mummy and an 18-year-old man experienced chest pain on the ride.

It was the fourth straight quarter in which Disney and Universal Orlando were the only parks to report significant injuries. SeaWorld, Wet ‘n Wild, Busch Gardens and Legoland reported no injuries.

The voluntary reports are part of an agreement the theme parks have struck with the state, which has exempted them from public ride-safety regulation. The parks are required to report injuries that occur on a ride and result in an immediate hospital stay of more than 24 hours.

SeaWorld retooling global tours

SeaWorld is postponing an “Excursions” global tour program it was about to start.

There were no bookings for upcoming trips to Alaska and Africa with animal experts from its parks as guides.

SeaWorld expects to relaunch the program next month with a new name, website and brochure. It is planning an October trip to Churchill, Canada.

Mall developer to unveil plans

Developer Abdul Mathin says he will hold a press conference early next month to discuss his plans for a massive new mall and hotel he has proposed for northern end of International Drive.

The plan, called the iSquare Mall & Hotel, got approval last week from Orlando’s planning board, after Mathin agreed to trim the height of the structure from 31 to 26 stories and reduce the total number of rooms from more than 1,200 rooms to more than 700. The proposal has yet to go before the Orlando City Council.

Mathin has proposed a multilevel shopping mall and a luxury hotel that, if built, would instantly become a landmark on North I-Drive. It would include meeting space, an ice-skating rink, a food court and restaurants. Mathin has said the project would cost $300 million to $400 million and would cater to wealthy travelers. The project would replace the International Shoppes strip mall a the southeast corner of I-Drive and Kirkman Road. Mathin’s company owns that property.

Mathin said the money is place to move forward but that he may take on investors. Mathin heads the BlackMINE Group, an international real-estate development and investment firm.

Iger chosen CEO of the year

Chief Executive magazine last week named Bob Iger of The Walt Disney Co. as 2014′s CEO of the year.

The sixth CEO in Disney’s history, Iger, “transformed the organization into a profit-making powerhouse,” the magazine said in a press release.

 

Rest area that was once famous for co-ed hookers and drugs now known for its poisonous snakes July 20, 2014

Filed under: Scary,Stupid,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 3:54 pm

Blog-20100710-BewareOfSnakesIf you’re planning on driving on Interstate 75 and the urge to stop at a rest area hits you, a sign at one rest area near Gainesville is now urging motorists to beware of poisonous snakes. The sign is becoming a tourist attraction of its own.

The rest area on I-75 is like no other in the state; it sits atop a hill overlooking one of the most wild areas in Florida — Payne’s Prairie.

Earlier this year, bright yellow signs went up warning of poisonous snakes.

“They want to know what kind of snakes we have. I say, ‘You’re in Florida. You got all kinds of snakes,’” said rest area crew member Katie Mijares.

Snakes used to be a major problem in the area.

“I have a friend that’s sacred of snakes and I thought she’d get a kick out of it,” said motorist Rachel Manning while taking a photo. She said she isn’t too scared of them. “I know that they don’t like noise and my kids are noisy.”

It’s also the only rest area to sport a 325 foot long walkway to overlook the prairie, designed, as you might guess, to look like a snake.

Snake warning signs aren’t the only unique thing about the rest area. It was once a hotbed of illegal drug trafficking. Another time, a major prostitution ring involving University of Florida co-eds was busted working out of here.

Drugs and prostitution are no longer a problem there, but the bright yellow sign warning of snakes can be a bit unnerving for some.

The message to motorists: You never know what you’ll find at the rest area.

 

A ‘testicle-eating’ fish found in Florida waters? July 18, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Disgusting,OK Then .....,Scary,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:23 pm

A local angler has quite the fish tale to tell. He says he recently caught a pacu on the Suncoast — a member of the piranha family with a very unsettling reputation.

53c6973b8d130.preview-300The name of Tom Rigby’s boat is Asleep at the Reel. About a month ago, Rigby was fishing Phillippi Creek with a shrimp and was wide awake when his line took off.

“I had the drag set pretty tight, and it’s running with it. My first thought was a jack because they fight like crazy.”

After a long fight, he brought the fish aboard the boat. “I got out my fish ID chart and go through all of the species. I can’t see anything that looks like the species.”

He snapped a quick photo of the fish and released it back into the water.

53c697a2cd302.preview-300He sent his picture of the fish to Mote Marine. They quickly identify it as a pacu, a freshwater species native to South America — and related to the piranha.

“I’m looking at all of the teeth, saying this thing can do some serious damage to another fish or something.”

That something will make men everywhere cringe. “I found out it has a reputation for going after men’s testicles. I was just worried about it biting my finger.”

That reputation has been investigated for years, even by Animal Planet’s extreme angler Jeremy Wade — the host of the hit show River Monsters.

There have never been any confirmed cases of the pacu’s unusual appetite.

For Rigby, he has an appetite for catching another one — this time keeping it. “It was quite an adventure; pretty cool to catch and it’s out there somewhere still looking for lunch.”

The mystery remains: how did this fish end up here? The likely answer is that at one time it was someone’s pet that outgrew its aquarium and was released into area waters.

Pacu
 

Man choked, robbed girlfriend after she invited him to party July 16, 2014

 A man is in custody after deputies said he became enraged when his girlfriend invited him to a party, choked and robbed her before he robbed another man who tried to intervene early Tuesday.

sfl-flduh-chocked-girlfriend-party-20140715-001The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said Chadwick Bush, 21, was sleeping on a bed at the Motel 6 at 660 67th St. Cir. E. when his 23-year-old girlfriend asked if he wanted to go to a party at about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Bush allegedly became enraged and pulled his girlfriend down by her hair and began to choke her and punch her in the ribs.

Another woman in the room told Bush she was calling law enforcement, but Bush did not stop. While on top of his girlfriend, he stole $40 from her front pocket.

The other woman called for her boyfriend, who was outside of the room.

The other man tried to get Bush off of Bush’s girlfriend by striking him in the side. Bush got off of his girlfriend and turned toward the other man, who told him deputies were called.

Bush then grabbed the other man’s cellphone and ran away from the area with his backpack.

Deputies saw Bush behind the nearby Comfort Inn. He ran after deputies saw him and told him to get down.

A deputy deployed a stun gun and struck Bush, who kept running.

A dog eventually found Bush hiding behind a trash bin behind iStorage, where he was taken into custody without incident.

Bush was charged with domestic battery with strangulation, strong-arm robbery and grand theft.

 

Surprise only 15 percent of this Florida town’s police force were also members of the KKK July 15, 2014

kkkPolice morale in Fruitland Park, Florida has been shaken after a deputy chief and officer resigned when the Federal Bureau of Investigations identified them as members of the Ku Klux Klan.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement presented Chief Terry Isaacs with copies of a confidential FBI report last week that allegedly identified Deputy Chief David Borst and Officer George Hunnewell as members of the KKK.

Earlier this year, a Florida Klan leader boasted to WFTV 9 that the organization has “police officers, paramedics, judges…everywhere.”

However, Chief Isaacs would only tell reporters for the Orlando Sentinel that the pair belonged to a “subversive organization,” because he did not believe he was authorized to release the results of the report.

“It’s a tough situation. He was my assistant,” he said, adding that he never witnessed any behavior that would lead him to believe former Deputy Chief Borst was in the KKK. “But I’ve read the report, and it’s convincing.”

Chief Deputy State Attorney Ric Ridgway — from whom Isaacs sought counsel concerning the FBI’s report — told the Orlando Sentinel that “it’s not a crime to be a member of the KKK, even if you are the deputy chief. It’s not a crime to be stupid. It’s not a crime to hate people. It may be despicable, it may be immoral, but it’s not a crime.”

The loss of two officers is significant for a town that only employs 13 full-time cops. “They’re a good group of people,” Isaacs said. “The last thing I was expecting to hear in the year 2014 was for a professional law-enforcement officer to be a member of a subversive organization.”

In 2009, however, another Fruitland Park officer, James Elkins, resigned after pictures emerged online of him wearing a Klan hood and robe. Elkins initially claimed that he was not involved with the organization, but eventually admitted that he was the “district Kleage,” or local recruiter, for the National Aryan Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

 

Bomb Squad: Bowl with chicken head and feathers caused road closure

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,OK Then .....,Really Dumb,Scary,Silly,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:23 pm

sfl-flduh-chicken-head-feathers-20140714-001Sarasota’s Hazardous Devices Unit made an unusual discovery when they were called out to investigate numerous suspicious objects on Monday.

The Sheriff’s Office says the suspicious objects were found in the middle of Swift Road just before 1 p.m. The road was shut down as the bomb team responded to examine the items.

They found a cylindrical object inside of a paper bag that was next to a ceramic bowl containing a chicken head and feathers. An x-ray was unable to determine the contents of the paper bag, aside from there being a gel-like substance inside, and it was destroyed on-scene.

After 20 minutes, the scene was cleared and the road re-opened.

It’s still not clear what purpose the items served and why they were left in the road.

 

Homeless Woman Dies After Driver Parks Car On Top Of Her July 14, 2014

Filed under: Death,Dumb,Morbid,Sad Story,Scary,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:42 pm

A transient woman was killed Tuesday night after she fell asleep in a parking space and was run over by a car, St. Petersburg police said.

Henrietta-DicksonThe incident happened at 11:30 p.m. at the Palm Garden Condo Complex, located in the 5300 block of Fourth Street N.

According to police, Henrietta Regina Dickson, 55, had either passed out or fallen asleep in an assigned parking space between two carport support pillars.

At about 11:30 p.m., a woman pulled into her assigned parking space. Police said the front of her vehicle drove over Dickson’s body, pinning the woman between the concrete parking spot and the undercarriage of the vehicle, police said.

Police said the driver felt the impact and got out of her vehicle. She saw a large tote bag, which belonged to Dickson, sticking out from beneath her car, just behind the front left tire, so she removed the tote bag and assumed that was what she had run over, police said.

The driver didn’t see Dickson’s body, which police said could only be seen from the front of the vehicle, and so she went into her house.

“This is a very unusual and very sad case,” said Yolanda Fernandez of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

“She felt the bump and when she looked, it was a large tote bag full of things, full of clothing, and other items.  She just figured that’s what she hit.”

On Wednesday morning, a passerby noticed Dickson’s hand sticking out from beneath the front of the car and called police to report that a person was sleeping under a vehicle, police said.

Officers who responded found Dickson’s lifeless body. She was pronounced dead at 8:12 a.m.

“That’s horrible,” said Michael Evans, the victim’s neighbor.

The driver’s neighbors said there’s no way she’d do this on purpose.

“She seems like a nice person,” said Herbert Rivera. “I mean, if she realized she would have hit something, she would have said something.”

The driver did not come to the door to comment.

As for Evans, he recalled some of the good times.

“I thought she was funny,” he said.  “I’d get a real kick out of her.”

He’s now trying to comprehend how this could happen.

Police said they suspect Dickson may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.

The driver has no criminal history and at this time, police say she will not face any charges in connection with this incident.

 

Teens used cellphone to impersonate cops

Two teenaged boys were arrested Thursday night for impersonating law enforcement, a felony, but their family says it was all just a prank.

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The teens, Angel Torres Jr., 17 and Christian Jose Iturbe, 16, both of Cape Coral are accused of attempting to use high beam red and blue flashing lights from a smartphone to pull over a driver in North Cape Coral.

It happened on Chiquita Boulevard North. A driver called police and told them a vehicle behind him was flashing red and blue lights across the front windshield, and he began to stop because he thought an unmarked police car was pulling him over.

The driver realized as the vehicle got closer to him that it was a Nissan Altima and that made him feel unsure if it was really a police officer behind him. So, he called police and gave them the license plate number.

Police found the suspect’s vehicle as it made a moving violation so they stopped it. At that time, Torres was driving and Iturbe was the front seat passenger, and police discovered they used a combination of flashing their car’s high beams and used a Youtube video of flashing red and blue lights on Iturbe’s cell phone, according to police.

Cape police said: “…this particular case looks to be a criminally stupid prank”- but added that cases like it can be dangerous.

“Impersonators can have dangerous motives for trying to stop members of the public, and impersonators like this shake public confidence and make people second guess real police officers conducting legitimate law enforcement duties,” said CCPD Sergeant Dana Coston.

Back at the police station, police say Torres’ mother was creating a scene and had to be detained. She told officers her son was a rising soccer star and couldn’t afford to get in trouble.

Police say they should have thought of that before deciding to commit a felony.

We went to both of the teens’ homes, and spoke with Torres’ mother by phone, who said she believes the boys meant no harm.

Police say the man who the teens pulled over did everything right by calling 911 with he noticed something was amiss.

 

 
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