The Bizarre World of Florida

Woman arrested for running an unlicensed botox clinic out of her garage April 18, 2014

garage18n-3-webAlejandra Tobon, 43, pumped Botox, filler and vitamin injections and offered plasma therapy and Carboxytherapy, a method of removing stretch marks after pregnancy, police said in a news release.

Cops cuffed Tobon on Wednesday after a patient came to police in December to report a bad reaction to the illegal Botox therapy.

The woman allegedly outfitted the garage, along a leafy street of residential rowhouses, to look like a medical office, police said.

Instead, Tobon was committing the crimes of unlicensed practice of health care profession and practicing medicine without a license, both third-degree felonies.

Online records show Tobon has been licensed in the state of Florida since 2003 as a massage therapist and since 2009 as an electrologist.

Cops believe there may be other victims.

Neighbors would see Tobon sporting medical scrubs and told WFOR-TV that women would frequently come and go from the tidy home.

“I’m in shock, you know, because sometimes you see the neighbors walking around, saying ‘Hi’ in the morning. But that’s it. So I’m in shock,” Dulce Lopez told the CBS affiliate.


Report: Oops, homeowner led authorities to his own grow house

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Controversy,Drugs,Dumb,Florida Nut,Really Dumb,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:21 pm

An Orange County homeowner called the power company to report a problem, and ended up leading them straight to a major marijuana grow house, authorities said.

gh4Investigators said they carried out more than 100 pot plants from the home in the Canyon Ridge subdivision near Clarcona-Ocoee Road.

When Channel 9’s Kristyn Caddell went to the home, the odor of marijuana was so pungent, she could smell it from across the street.

Investigators were at the home all night Wednesday removing the plants from the top floor of the home.

They said there was so much marijuana in the home, that there was very little living space.

gh2“They were actually remodeling the back room into another grow operation, which was going to be even larger,” said Robert white with the Corporal Narcotics Tip Squad.

Neighbors watched in awe as the plants were being carried out.

Norm Pozzie said he never noticed the pungent smell, but did see a lot of expensive cars and well-dressed people stopping by the house on a regular basis.

When the homeowner called the power company to report an electrical short, officials with Duke Energy noticed the lines had been tampered with.

The man was allegedly running some illegal power to the home to run his grow house, but it shorted out his power.

“We know who lives here, we know who paid for everything and we know who set it up,” White said.

Investigators said they will be putting out a warrant for the man’s arrest.


Hospital housekeeper cleaned out visitor’s purse

Filed under: Amazing,Disgusting,Dumb,Fraud,Really Dumb,Robbers,Sad Story,Sick,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:18 pm

A North Florida Regional Medical Center housekeeper was arrested Wednesday afternoon after police say she stole money from a woman visiting her sick father.


Joy Williams Lawton

Joy Williams Lawton, 56, of 4517 SE First Place, is accused of stealing about $900 from the woman’s purse while on her shift Tuesday morning at the hospital, the Gainesville Police Department reported.

The woman, Spring Ann Mills, of Lake City, caught Lawton digging through the purse in her father’s room, according to a GPD arrest report. Mills confronted Lawton, and the two argued until hospital staff members broke them up.

While Lawton waited in the hallway, a video camera recorded her pulling the money out of her pockets and hiding the cash behind a glove box hanging outside a door, police said.

During an interview with police, Lawton denied stealing the money, saying she only moved Mills’ purse. An hour later, officers searched Lawton and found $450 in cash, folded in half inside bank envelopes, in her pocket, police said. Two hospital staff members later found $447 inside the glove box, police said.

On Wednesday, during another police interview, police found an additional $182 in cash in Lawton’s pocket. She continued to deny her involvement in the theft.

Police arrested Lawton at 2 p.m. Wednesday on a grand theft charge and later booked her into the Alachua County jail. She was released Thursday.

Pamela Rittenhouse, director of marketing, said late Thursday the hospital had fired Lawton after her arrest.

“Actions by employees and contractors that interfere with the safety and well-being of patients and visitors are met with zero tolerance,” Rittenhouse said in a statement. “Always, the comfort and well-being of our patients and visitors is of primary concern to us.”


Flip flop: Shopper finds her own stolen shoes on sale

Filed under: Bizzarre,Dumb,Florida Nut,Fraud,Really Dumb,Robbers,Stupid,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:15 pm

sfl-flduh-stolen-shoes-sale-20140417-001An Ocala shopper got a surprise last month when she saw some of her own shoes – and some shoes belonging to her fiancé — on sale at a local store.

Her find led to the arrest Wednesday of Aric Shiawn McCray, 23, who had been living with them, on 11 counts of dealing in stolen property, according to the Ocala Police Department

Unfortunately, Plato’s Closet, at 2701 SW College Road, had already sold some of the shoes.

OPD Detective Mark Hoover found that McCray had made 23 transactions with the store since Dec. 2. Eleven of those involved items belonging to the woman or her fiancé. Those transactions totaled $302.65.

Hoover spoke with McCray, who told him that the couple had given him permission to take the shoes, according to OPD. He was arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail.


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

Filed under: Bizzarre,WTF?,Controversy,Unusual,Amazing,Weird,Interesting,Funny — 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.


Man describes “pounding sensation” he felt after being bitten by a poisonous snake, admits to being quite rattled

Filed under: Bad Luck,WTF?,Scary,Weird,Interesting — floridaduh @ 7:02 pm

fl-survives-water-moccasi-1-jpg-20140416An avid outdoorsman, Ryan Toogood fishes for sharks in the Atlantic, hikes alligator habitat in the Everglades and even owns a pair of snake-proof boots.

But he was wearing flip-flops when he stopped to stretch his legs on a drive across Alligator Alley, and that was all the opening a poisonous water moccasin needed to bite the side of his right big toe.

“‘Wow!’ I remembered thinking,” the 29-year-old Boynton Beach man said Wednesday. “‘This hurts like hell, but that’s a cool-looking snake.’”

Toogood said that despite pain that felt “like someone driving a nail through my toe and pounding on my foot at the same time,” he stayed calm enough to pull his smartphone from his pocket and snap a picture of the reptile.

The snake, with mouth open, was hissing at him, Toogood said.

Toogood’s agonizing adventure began about 6:45 p.m. Saturday at a rest area of Big Cypress National Preserve as he and his girlftriend, Kate Walsh, were returning to their home from a fishing trip to Naples.

Hobbling back to his car just 20 feet away, Toogood slipped behind the wheel and told Walsh, “A snake just bit me on the big toe,” he said.

At that point, he said he did not know what kind of snake it was.

Toogood said he thought he could complete the drive home.  But as soon as he put his foot on the pedal, a surge of pain made him realize he needed help, Toogood said.

Walsh dialed 911, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue arrived within minutes. They looked at Toogood’s foot, forwarded the picture of the snake to the Miami-Dade Venom Response Unit, and called for a fire-rescue helicopter.

“That’s what made me the most anxious,” said Toogood, who also is an insulin-dependent diabetic. “They don’t airlift you unless it’s serious.”

Checking his monitor, Toogood said he could see his blood-sugar levels spiking.

An ambulance took him down Interstate 75 to a helicopter. It was the first chopper ride of his life, and soon he was in the emergency room at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston.

Waiting at the hospital with the Venom Response Unit paramedics was someone Toogood recognized from television: Capt. Jeffrey Fobb, who has appeared on Animal Planet’s “Swamp Wars.”

“I was star-struck right off the bat,” Toogood said. “He was a calming presence who helped take my mind off things.”

Toogood was treated with several doses of antivenin during his hospital stay.

The Venom Response Unit responds to about 20 to 30 poisonous snakebite calls each year, Fobb said.

Fobb praised Toogood as an excellent patient, “aware of his health issues, aware of his pain level, calm enough to tell us what’s going on.”

After two nights in the hospital Toogood returned home Monday. The swelling in his foot is down, as is the pain, but walking still hurts, said Toogood, a New Jersey native who studied law at the University of Miami. Both he and Walsh are attorneys with a West Palm Beach firm.

He said heexpects to be back in the office next week.

“The whole thing has been surreal,” he said of the past four days. “I would characterize this as an unfortunate accident. I was wearing flip-flops in the Everglades, and even though the snake bit me on a patch of grass that had just been mowed, it is his territory.”

Many have asked Toogood if he killed the snake, which Fobb said was likely a juvenile.

“No, I didn’t kill the snake,” Toogood said. “I hope it lives a long and healthy life and gets a lot bigger. I sort of like the idea that there is a snake out there that got me good.”


Gunman steals a master key allowing access to thousands of mailboxes

Filed under: Robbers,Florida Nut,WTF?,Unusual,Weird,Dumb,OK Then ..... — 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.


State worker fraudulently put nearly $23K into inmates’ accounts, including her hubby’s

Filed under: Robbers,Fraud,Bizzarre,WTF?,Dumb,Stupid — floridaduh @ 6:50 pm

sfl-flduh-inmates-accounts-hubbys-20140416-001An inmate serving time in Polk County and his wife in Orlando transferred more than $20,000 from stolen credit cards into prisoner trust fund accounts, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

After Tamika Teague, 34, deposited the money her husband Ronald Teague, 34, sent her nearly $15,000 from the state Department of Corrections check system, according to FDLE.

The couple were arrested Tuesday on charges of grand theft.

Tamika Teague, a state Department of Health employee, remains held at the Orange County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail. Her husband is an inmate at the Polk Correctional Institution.

Ronald Teague is serving five years for child abuse, child neglect and fleeing and eluding police. He previously served two terms for armed robbery and carrying a concealed firearm, according to state prison records.

An FDLE spokesman declined to comment on when prison officials discovered the multiple deposits into 36 inmates’ trust accounts. The investigation remains open.

According to a press release, Tamika Teague of Regal Oak Circle took part in 115 transactions using 25 stolen credit card numbers to deposit $22,735 into the prisoners’ accounts. Of those, her husband is charged with receiving $7,000 plus $900 in fraudulent payments to this inmate telephone account.

The case is being handled by the attorney general’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.


Mom On Crack Binge Gives Birth In Motel Bathtub, Chews Through Umbilical Cord April 16, 2014

A premature baby born Friday night in a motel bathtub after his mother said she went on a crack cocaine binge remains in critical condition on a ventilator at UF Heatlh Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

The Florida Department of Children and Families has taken custody of the baby and his 11-month-old brother, DCF spokeswoman Kristi Gray said. The baby’s brother has been placed in foster care.

Chrystal-Hassell-125x188Their 37-year-old mother, Chrystal A. Hassell, is on suicide watch at the Marion County Jail, meaning she is under constant supervision. She faces a charge of child neglect. She will be evaluated by medical professionals and will get whatever assistance she needs, Gray said, and the agency will work with her.

On Saturday, hours after her arrest, Hassell said she has been using drugs since she was a teenager, including while pregnant. She said she has a 16-year-old daughter who was born addicted to drugs. She said she did not know she was pregnant with her third child until early March when she felt movement in her stomach. She went to Munroe Regional Medical Center for a checkup and was told she was approximately six to seven months pregnant.

Hassell said she decided not to smoke crack but the cravings were too great. The day before her baby was born, she went on a binge. She said she had the child in a bathtub at Vacation Host Inn on South Pine Avenue and cut the umbilical cord with her teeth. She said the baby began turning blue so she called 911.

Vincent Terry, 43, the father of the baby and his brother, is at the Marion County Jail on a warrant out of El Pasco County, Colo., for domestic violence, attempted murder and a violation of probation on possession of a Schedule II controlled substance.

Terry said Tuesday during an interview at the jail that he did not know his girlfriend was abusing drugs for 24 hours before their baby was born. He said she told him she was tired and wanted to lie down.

“I knew she had a history of doing drugs, but not that she was doing drugs. She just found out she was pregnant,” he said.

Terry said he and Hassell attended a court hearing Tuesday to determine the status of their two children. He said his family provided the names of immediate family members whom the children can stay with and that DCF officials plan to do background checks to see if they qualify to take care of them.

Though no case plan has been arranged, Vincent said they should be able to have visitation with the children but that will depend on the outcome of their cases as well what kinds of programs they have to complete.

Terry said they have settled on a name for the baby, which he would not reveal, and that someone from the hospital is supposed to call and get the name so they can sign the birth certificate.

As for the charges he faces, Terry said he was not aware of the attempted murder and domestic violence charges and he thought his probation had ended on the drug possession charge. He said he has signed extradition papers and will go to Colorado to face the charges.

Terry said he and his girlfriend have several problems facing them, such as finding a place to live, but that he is looking forward to a life with Hassell and believes they can overcome any obstacle.

“Of course we’re going to stay together. My kids are here. She’s not a bad person. She just got a problem and, together, we’ll fight it,” he said.



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