The Bizarre World of Florida

Judge does a double take after learning Edward Cocaine was appearing in his courtroom on drug possession charges April 17, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Controversy,Funny,Interesting,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 7:06 pm

fl-man-named-cocaine-20140416-001The judge did a double-take and there were giggles aplenty in bond court Wednesday when a bailiff announced the name of a man arrested for drug possession: Edward Cocaine.

“What?” uttered a stunned County Judge John “Jay” Hurley.

“My last name is Cocaine,” proudly stated the man at the podium. His name was indeed legal and inscribed on his driver’s license.

“You know, I’d thought I’d seen it all,” Hurley laughed, shaking his head. “How many times have the police told you to step out of the car during your life?”

“Just about every time I get pulled over,” a chuckling Cocaine admitted.

The 34-year-old Fort Lauderdale man, arrested Tuesday in Pembroke Pines, explained how he got his name. “My great-grandparents came over here from Greece and they changed it,” he said. “That was like in the 1920s.”

The judge remained nonplused. “I’m still trying to absorb this,” he said.


Gunman steals a master key allowing access to thousands of mailboxes

Filed under: Dumb,Florida Nut,OK Then .....,Robbers,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 6:59 pm

Thousands of mailboxes could be compromised after an armed robber stole a postal key from a mail carrier in Lauderhill, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

fl-letter-carrier-robbed-20140416-001The holdup happened about 5 p.m. Monday as the carrier was delivering mail to the Continental Apartments, 1761 NW 46th Ave., postal inspector Blanca Alvarez said.

“The mail carrier was not suspicious because people oftentimes walk in and out of that hallway,” she said. “He approached her from behind and touched her with a gun and told her, ‘Give me the keys.’”

Surveillance video shows the suspect lurking near the mailboxes before the postal carrier arrives. The suspect was wearing a bright orange T-shirt, white shorts and bright orange running shoes, the video showed.

“It appears on the video this person actually did some surveillance before committing the crime,” she said.

He returned a couple of minutes later, wearing a black hoodie, to rob the carrier, the video showed.

“The carrier, fortunately, was not physically harmed,” Alvarez said. “She was shaken up as anybody would be in that type of violent situation.”

Postal keys open thousands of mailboxes on a carrier’s route, which is enticing to thieves, she said.

“It’s a crime of opportunity and criminals usually go out there and try to find something of value that they can steal,” Alvarez said. “There might be cash in the [mailbox], there may be gift cards, or they try to commit identity theft by ordering credit cards or debit cards in people’s names.”

Unless you are a federal employee, possession of a postal key is a federal offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison, or 25 years if a weapon is used in the robbery, she said.

“Postal inspectors went out that same day and notified all the residents that the postal key was taken and they should pick up their mail soon after delivery and not leave it in the mailboxes overnight, which is what we normally suggest to people on a regular basis,” she said.

A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service asks anyone with information to call the agency at 877-876-2455 or 954-436-7200.


Now we have drug thieves attacking old people on their way out from seeing the pharmacists

1397678899000-PH-pharmacy-attackOn February 28 in Tampa, a man walks out of a pharmacy and is jolted with a taser for his drugs.

On March 15 in Tampa, a pharmacist is attacked and beaten for his drugs.

On April 8 in Palm Harbor, a woman leaving a pharmacy is knocked to the ground for her drugs.

People were shocked when we showed them the surveillance video.

“Oh, my Gosh!” said one.

“In broad daylight. That’s pretty crazy,” said another.

“They knocked her down!” said two elderly ladies.

“Oh, my God,” said one man.

When people watch the video, it makes their jaws drop, but no one is really surprised. Across the nation, and here in Tampa Bay, pharmacies and their customers have become targets, and detectives say Oxycodone and narcotic addicts will do anything to get a fix.

In the Palm Harbor attack, the suspect can be seen pacing back and forth in front of Trust Pharmacy on Highway 19. A woman walks out and the suspect immediately knocks her to the ground and takes her bag of prescription drugs. Passersby try and subdue the suspect, but he escapes.

But the suspect’s face is clearly captured on camera and detectives want to know who he is, reminding people to watch their backs.


If you’re going to burglarize a business, it’s probably best not to follow them on Instagram April 16, 2014

A Boca Raton e-cigarette burglar was “immediately” identified when the victim told police the suspect follows his business on Instagram, according to a Boca Raton Police arrest report.

An owner of Florida E-cigs and Vapes at 281 N. Dixie Highway, watched surveillance video of a burglar throwing a brick through the front door and stealing about $2,000 worth of e-cigarettes and juice used in the cigarettes on Sunday.

fl-boca-instagram-burglar-20140415-001The owner said he recognized the burglar as Tanner Bradshaw, 18, of Boca Raton, a regular customer and one of nearly 350 followers the business has on Instagram, according to the report.

A photo of Bradshaw’s driver’s license is one of 80 photos on his Instagram account.

Police found Bradshaw on Monday at about 5 p.m. near Palmetto Park Road and Southwest Third Street with products stolen from Florida E-Cigarettes.

Bradshaw told police he has a narcotics addiction and is remorseful, according to the report.

He faces burglary and grand theft charges and remains in Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $6,000 bail.


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.


Burglar takes shower and steals lunch meat April 15, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Funny,OK Then .....,Robbers,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 8:10 pm

A Boynton Beach woman said a burglar took a shower and some lunch meat, according to Boynton Beach Police.

The break-in happened on the 3000 block of Southeast Second Street on Friday. The woman said the burglar broke in through a window, then unlocked several doors in the home.

Police collected a blood sample at the scene and then talked to the woman.

She also told police lunch meat was taken from the refrigerator and the shower stall was wet.


Officials kill five random bears after last week’s bear attack. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,OK Then .....,Scary,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 8:03 pm

After a bear mauled a woman in the driveway of her suburban Florida home, dragging her four feet before she escaped, wildlife officials said Monday that they had killed five of the animals, who had become dangerously accustomed to humans.

It was unclear whether the bear that attacked Terri Frana, 45, on Saturday was one of those killed. DNA and other tests will be done on the five animals — one shot and four euthanized — in an attempt to determine that, officials said. .


Frana, 45, said the bear had her head in its mouth and dragged her about 4 feet toward a wooded area.

“She opened her jaw and clamped down onto my head, and I could just hear her teeth marks,” Frana told WFTV-TV.

She managed to escape from the bear’s jaw, and then ran inside the house, where she collapsed.

She was treated at a hospital and released.

All five bears were “highly habituated,” Florida Fish and Wildlife officer Greg Workman said during a news conference Monday. “They had no fear of humans, making them dangerous bears,” he said. “We’re erring on the side of public safety.”

Lake Mary is an upscale community about halfway between Orlando and Daytona Beach. Workman called that the entire area in and around Lake Mary “prime bear country.”

“We’re going to be out here until we feel that the area is safe from these bears,” he said.

In December, a woman was attacked by bears while walking her dogs in Longwood, about five miles from Lake Mary. She suffered facial injuries and was hospitalized.

Frana was afraid the bears were going after her two young children Saturday evening, said her husband, Frank Frana.

Her 10-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son had just left the house Saturday night when she saw five bears scurry toward the garage. She walked down the driveway to look for her children.

“One of the bears stood up, knocked her down, and started to maul her,” Frank Frana said. “She has 30 staples in her head, 10 stitches in her head, lacerations, and claw marks on her back.”

Neighbors said that they are worried for their safety and that they’ve recently spotted several bears in the area.

Experts say this is the time of the year when bears leave their winter dens.


Man watching alligator bitten by snake off Alligator Alley April 14, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Scary,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 12:44 pm

A Boynton Beach man who stepped out of his car off I-75, also known as Alligator Alley, to get a glimpse of an alligator ended up getting bitten by a poisonous snake.

The 29-year-old man survived after being bitten on the foot by a pit viper about 7:10 p.m. Saturday. He and his girlfriend had stopped to check out an alligator at Mile Marker 49 on I-75 eastbound, said Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles. The girlfriend was not injured. The area where he was bitten was coincidentally near Snake Road.

The man, who was not identified was airlifted to the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, where he was met by officials with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Venom Response Bureau.

The pit viper’s venom, according to Miami-Dade’s venom staff, causes severe pain, swelling and bleeding.



Woman hospitalized after meeting five bears in her garage

Filed under: Bizzarre,Interesting,OK Then .....,Scary,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 12:40 pm

os-bear-in-downtown-orlando-20130608A Seminole County woman was hospitalized Saturday night after being attacked by a 200-pound bear inside her garage, deputies say.

The woman, whose name has not been released, told investigators that she was walking from her home to her garage just before 8 p.m. when she encountered five bears rummaging through the garbage bin she kept inside, Seminole County Sheriff’s Lt. Pete Brenenscuhl said.

The attack happened at a home on Brackenhurst Place in a subdivision near the intersection of Markham Road and Markham Woods Road near Lake Mary.

Brenenscuhl said the woman told investigators that when the bears saw her, they pounced. The bears dragged her out of the garage but somehow, the woman was able to escape and run into her home to call for help.

The woman had injuries to her head and scratches on her face but was alert and able to speak when paramedics arrived.

Initial reports said the woman had been attacked by five bears, but officials do not believe that’s the case.

“As far as we know there was only one aggressive bear,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer Lenny Salberg said during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

Salberg said the woman, whose name has not been released, is back home from the hospital. She apparently suffered claw marks to the head.

Officials believe the bear responsible for the attack weighs about 200 lbs.

Sunday morning, bears were spotted inside the subdivision and crossing a nearby street.

Bob Myers has been bicycling on a trail that runs past the subdivision for the past several years, without ever seeing a bear. But he expects encounters like Saturday’s to become more common.

“We’re encroaching on the bears, he said. “There’s more construction, so it’s going to happen.”

Three traps have been set up inside the Carisbrooke subdivision as officials continue to investigate.


Family abducted by aliens. Need help to rent the space shuttle to rescue them!

Filed under: Beautiful,Bizzarre,Florida Nut,Funny,Interesting,Silly,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 12:32 pm

 As the light turns from green to red at the intersection of Dale Mabry Highway and Kennedy Boulevard, it’s Jeff Stevens’ cue to go on.

Every light cycle, Stevens has a new audience. He smiles, he waves, he twirls and balances a cane. As many panhandlers on Sundays do, he holds a sign. His signs, though, are different.


“I used to hold a sign that was ‘Homeless’ and that didn’t really work for me,” Stevens said. He was homeless, but got off the streets and into an apartment in 2011. He got a full time job working at Denny’s. Still, it wasn’t enough to make ends meet.

So he got creative.

“I started coming up with comedy things and trying to make people laugh,” he said. “It just brightens their day.”

Today’s signs included: “Wife + pet tiger abducted. Need help w/ ransom to save my lovable tiger. They can have wife, so much quieter at home. Anything helps! L.O.L.”, “Geico Kidnapped my Pet Lizzard. Need Help w/ ransom to save the little guys life.”

This intersection is center ring. He engages his audience. Sometimes it’s a smile, sometimes it’s a dollar. His performance is nothing new, just the venue has changed.

“One day, I hope to actually get a better job to get back into doing what I used to do, which is travelling the circus and performing with wild cats,” he said.

He says he’s cousins with the famous Ron and Joy Holiday, the subjects of HBO’s documentary Cat Dancers – who gained notoriety when their partner Chuck Lizza was killed by one of their live-in white tigers. Stevens said tragedy after tragedy, from his parents’ death to run-ins with the law, brought him to Florida.

But the show must go on, and Stevens comes to this Tampa intersection every Sunday. He’s holding funny signs to pay his bills. He’s twirling a cane to put some money away in savings. He’s making people smile, like he did under the big top.

“It blesses my heart to see them laughing,” he said. “If I don’t make a dollar or anything, it feels good right here just to see somebody smile.”

The light turns green. This show is done. As the audience drives away, Stevens is still on. Smiling, waving, preparing for the next show – when the traffic stops.



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