The Bizarre World of Florida

Nothing to see: Invention aims to stop rubbernecking September 12, 2014

Filed under: Beautiful,Interesting,OK Then .....,Uncategorized,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:32 pm

1410293934000-trafficGetting caught in a traffic tie-up after an accident was the inspiration Carl Cannova needed to invent a device to stem the typical gawking by other motorists.

“A moment of getting frustrated with rubbernecking,” Cannova said.

About four years ago, Cannova started working on a portable screening device for law enforcement designed to thwart drivers’ penchant for wanting to see an accident scene.

The SRN 1000 privacy, safety and security barrier system comes in a portable bag, three tripods unfold, weather-resistant screens are added. “

We’ve had these in winds of 30 miles per hour,” Cannova said.

Turrets help adjust the position on a 6-foot-by-12-foot screen to use at accident scenes.

“It’s easy to put up easy to put away done quickly,” said Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino. She was so impressed with Cannova’s system she bought two for her department at $2,299 each.

“What this does is protect the victim in these cases more than anything allows traffic to flow a lot smoother,” said DiPino.

Cannova added, “Keeps people from taking pictures putting on Facebook and Twitter.”

But would the barriers alone act as a distraction for drivers?

“You can’t see anything; you can’t begin to pay attention to what’s going on,” DiPino said.

Law enforcement agencies are using the screen at crime scenes, too. In April, Manatee sheriff’s deputies used the barriers to block the view of a bank robbery suspect who shot and killed himself during a shootout with deputies.

“(The device) allows crime scene investigators to take their time, not rush want to clear out,” DiPino said.

The Manatee Sheriff’s Office also used the SRN 1000 at a public hearing to protect a witness’ identity.

He said the next design phase will including adding a rooftop so no one can look in from up above.

Cannova says more than a dozen law enforcement agencies in Florida, as well as medical coroners, hospitals, airports, hotels and even movie sets use his system. He said the SRN 1000 is being used in 20 states with more than 400 sold.

“It gives me chills I did something useful,” he said.


No, That Florida Inmate Was Not Covered In Eggs, Velveeta, Pudding, Or Paint September 11, 2014

Filed under: Interesting,OK Then .....,Uncategorized,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:26 pm

Analysts were split on whether Arie Patterson, 36, was covered in paint; eggs; mustard; creamsicles; pudding; Velveeta cheese; or even Big Bird ejaculate.

ariepattersonAccording to cops, however, the theft suspect is covered in Sabre pepper foam, which Broward County jailers use to gain compliance from uncooperative inmates. According to Dani Moschella, a sheriff’s spokesperson, Patterson was sprayed three times when he tussled with deputies seeking to fingerprint and photograph him.

“The foam is similar to pepper spray, but it doesn’t shoot as far, which is useful in close quarters such as a jail,” noted Moschella.

After the foam blasting, Patterson became cooperative. But he refused to be decontaminated or treated by emergency medical personnel.

“In an effort to safely and quickly complete the fingerprint and mug shot process and return him to his cell, deputies took his photo immediately,” said Moschella, who added, “They later took a new photo.”

Frankly, we preferred the Big Bird theory.


Things get ugly at South Florida beauty shop August 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — floridaduh @ 1:36 pm

Two Pembroke Pines women are facing several charges, including DUI, after causing a commotion at a Sally Beauty Supply store.


Veronica Cabanas and Cathleen Ibanez had a 2-year-old child with them at the time of their arrest.

Police were alerted about a possible impaired driver by Cabanas’s mother, according to the complaint affidavit.

Cabanas’s mother, according to police, was concerned that her daughter and Ibanez were impaired, driving around with Cabanas’s 2-year-old child.

About an hour and a half later, police were called to a beauty supply store where authorities say Cabanas and Ibanez were “causing a disturbance.”

Cabanas, according to the police report, was trying to have her child urinate in a beauty bottle product and both were throwing products around the store.

When authorities made contact with the women they were inside the car. Ibanez, police said, was in the driver’s seat. The car was in park but was running.

Police said the toddler was inside the car, not in a car seat—which is required by law.

During the investigation, police report that the women had “extremely slurred speech” and “glassy eyes.”

Ibanez, after the officer said she was conducting a criminal investigation for DUI, told the officer that she had not been drinking but takes Xanax and Oxycodone. She said she had a liver transplant and takes medication for that.

Police conducted a roadside sobriety test and concluded that Ibanez was under the influence, according to the affidavit.

Inside Ibanez’s purse, police found several bottles of pills, including oxycodone, none of which she had a prescription for.

Cabanas, who according to the affidavit was stumbling, was warned several times not to get behind the wheel of the car, but ignored the officer and sat in the driver’s seat while the car was running.

Cabanas denied drinking and using any drugs. After roadside tests, the officer believed that she was under the influence.

Both women were arrested and transported to jail.

Cabanas was charged with DUI, DUI with a child under 18 years of age, resisting without violence, child neglect, and driving while license was suspended with knowledge.

Ibanez was charged with DUI, DUI with a child under 18 years of age, possession of Alprazolam, possession of oxycontin and possession of legend drug without a prescription.


Spring-break students build coffins for children of poor March 21, 2014

Filed under: Beautiful,Interesting,OK Then .....,That's Nice,Uncategorized,Weird — floridaduh @ 1:16 pm

Inside a make-shift workshop in the Lake Como ConneXions Church, Ohio college students on spring break are making something they had never thought about before: coffins for babies.

orlnews-bible-college-students-make-20140317The students are crafting 20 infant caskets that will be donated to a funeral home for parents too poor to pay for their children’s burials.

Lake Como Pastor Oliver Phillips said the “Little Angels” caskets for indigent families is part of his church’s ministry to help people in need, distress and grief.

“The death of an infant is an uninvited guest,” he said.

os-os-church-baby-caskets015-jpg-20140317And an unexpected expense for people living in poverty.

A child’s casket costs at least $400, said funeral director Gail Thomas-DeWitt, whose mortuary will receive the hand-made caskets. She said her funeral home hears about four times a month from families who have lost a child but can’t afford a funeral.

“We experience this on a regular basis,” said Thomas-DeWitt with Gail & Wynn’s Mortuary in Washington Shores, a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Orlando. “We welcome this. It’s a wonderful idea.”

Orange County provides cremation of infants and children of indigent parents. In the past year, the county paid for the cremation of 47 children younger than 4 born to poor parents, said Dianne Arnold, who handles indigent burials and cremations for the Orange County Division of Children and Family Services.

But for those whose religious and cultural beliefs are opposed to cremation — including Muslims, Orthodox and Conservative Jews, some Catholics, many Baptists, and much of the black community — the county requires them to pay the $400 difference between the cost of burial and cremation.

Those unable to pay the difference can apply for a waiver, Arnold said. Indigent families also qualify for a free burial plot at a county cemetery, she said.

In Lake County, infants and children are the exception to the county’s policy of indigent cremation. While adults must be cremated, Lake will pay for the burial of babies, which costs $460 more than cremation.

“With children, we do make an exception,” said Joan Pell, who handles the county’s indigent burial and cremation program. “The loss of a child is so much different and families need that closure of a burial.”

In Osceola, the county pays for indigent burial or cremation but only if there are “absolutely no other resources available to cover these costs.” Seminole County pays for indigent burials and cremations, but only had one in the past year, and that was an infant cremation.

The emotional difference between the death of an adult and the death of the child is not lost on the 30 Bible college students from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

The hand-made pine coffins are the size of a child’s toy box.

“You see the caskets and you feel this should not happen,” said Erik Shull, 22, a senior public-relations major. “But it’s a sad truth.”

To Jodi Figueroa, a 22-year-old senior international studies major, the project was the chance to make a practical, tangible difference in the lives of others. It wasn’t spending spring break painting church walls or landscaping the grounds.

It wasn’t about saying a prayer. It’s about answering a prayer not yet made.

“A lot of Christians talk a lot about doing something but don’t want to get their hands dirty,” she said. “We are actually doing something.”

For the students, this was not a typical spring-break trip to Orlando. They might still make it to Walt Disney World or Daytona Beach, but they will bring with them to the amusement rides and sandy beaches a more personal sense of mortality.

“I like to think 10 years down the road. This makes me think. ‘What if I don’t make it?’ ” said Anna Dew, 18, a freshman majoring in psychology and English. “I don’t want my impact to be 10 years from now. I want it to be now.”

The project bestowed on the students some empathy for a grieving family that will one day need the coffin they sanded and assembled. They leave a piece of themselves — their name, a note — beneath the infant’s satin pillow.

“Caskets are not personal,” said Liz Bowles, 21, a senior majoring in fine art. “This is like giving a piece of your soul to someone who is broken.”


Security guard shoots sword-wielding man at Miami supermarket February 20, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — floridaduh @ 8:29 pm

A supermarket security guard who was hit on the head by a man wielding a sword shot and wounded the suspect late Wednesday, Miami police said.

The shooting happened just before 10 p.m. at the Presidente Supermarket at 500 SW Eighth St.

untitledAccording to police, a man holding a “long knife” walked into the store and made death threats to several customers. The armed guard intervened after seeing the man confronting a woman, police said.

“The armed man turned to the security guard and hit him over the head,” Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said. ” The armed security guard discharged his firearm striking the armed suspect several times.”

Fire-rescue indicated that the guard was hit on the head with an object at the Little Havana market.

The suspect and the security guard were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Unit. Police have yet to identify the two men.

The man with the knife, identified as 43-year-old Hector Rivaflecha Hechavarria, is in extremely critical condition, police said. He was charged with  one count of murder/premeditated/attempt/with a deadly weapon (sword).The security guard has minor head injuries and is in stable condition.


2013 in review December 31, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — floridaduh @ 9:07 pm

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 83,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Just a thought, but if you’re going to rob someone, don’t leave your wallet behind December 9, 2013

Filed under: Dumb,Florida Nut,Fraud,Funny,Really Dumb,Robbers,Uncategorized,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 4:17 pm

sfl-flduh-wallet-breakin-20131207-001Collier County deputies are encouraging car owners to push the lock button.  This comes after they say Ryan Keegan broke into seven cars while drunk.

Investigators found Keegan after left he some incriminating evidence behind.

Ana Juarez was all smiles and thankful the bizarre crime turned out the way it did.

“He took the screens off of our windows like he was trying to break in,” said Juarez.

The accused burglar decided breaking into the home was just too much work, so he went for the car instead.

“He slept in my sister’s car. He left his T-shirts in there,” said Juarez.

Collier County deputies say Keegan broke into at least six other cars in Naples along and near 98th Avenue North.

Investigators say it was fairly easy to nab him for the crime.

“He left an iPod in there too. He was using it as like a cave, like a man cave. It was really weird,” said Chad Joseph, a victim’s boyfriend.

The weirdness, detectives say, didn’t stop at that home.

Another neighbor had surveillance video apparently showing Keegan walking without a shirt on.

Another homeowner told deputies she found Keegan’s wallet.

“You think you live in a nice neighborhood and things like that, then stuff like this happens,” said Joseph.

Detectives say Keegan was drunk and didn’t remember much.  He lives minutes away from the Juarez home.

The suspect’s family is not talking tonight.

As for the car Keegan is accused of using as a pit stop, Juarez says the car was cleaned out the next day.

“All the seats were down. It was gross,” said Juarez.



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