The Bizarre World of Florida

Goldilocks bandits found snoozing in pricey rental unit October 30, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,Disrespectful,Dumb,Florida Nut,Robbers,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:23 pm

Two men have been charged with burglary after being found sleeping in a rental property they had not paid to use, according to the Holmes Beach Police Department.


Scott Francis Petrelli, 47, and Guy Vincent Massiello, 58, were arrested at a home in the 4000 block of Fifth Avenue in Holmes Beach, according to the report.

Officers went to a rental home around 12:30 p.m. Monday and found Petrelli and Massiello sleeping in the back porch. Police reported no one was supposed to be in the unit.

An officer woke both men and learned they had used the electricity, cable TV, propane grill, pool and shower for up to nine days. Police reported the unit rents for around $350 a day and neither Petrelli or Massiello had paid.

Petrelli was being held in Manatee County jail on $3,000 bond and Massiello was being held on $1,500 bond, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office website.


Mom left son, 7, at movie, drank ‘mean juice’

Carolina Uchoa is accused of leaving her 7-year-old son all alone in a theater, during the middle of a movie.

sfl-flduh-mom-mean-juice-20141029-001Uchoa was in tears when the judge told her on Friday that she can no longer have any contact with her son, because she violated her probation from a criminal mischief charge in 2012.

According to police, Uchoa picked up her son from his father’s house around noon to watch a movie at a cinema in Altamonte Springs. Half way  through the movie, the boy told police his mother exited the theater, leaving her purse and cell phone behind.  After the movie was over, police say the boy came out to the parking lot to locate his mother, but she was no where to be found, so he sat down and waited for her to return.

The boy’s father called Uchoa’s cell phone to see how things were going. Police say the boy was in tears and told his father that his mother was drinking her “mean juice,” which authorities say is code for alcohol. The dad rushed to pick him up. Uchoa was no where to be found, until her mother found her at Cranes Roost Apartments with a friend.  Police say her mother turned her in to authorities.

“I’m going to find probable cause on one count of child neglect,” the judge told Uchoa.

“If she’s guilty of what they say she did in this police report, she’s not the best mother,” said a defense attorney.  “But she didn’t injure this child in anyway, and there’s nothing in this police report to indicate that the bond should be quadrupled.”

Uchoa remains at the Seminole County Jail on a no bond status for violating her probation.  She was given a $10,000 bond for her charge on child neglect.


Man tries to kill his wife with a stun gun. “I thought it would work” October 29, 2014

A Deerfield Beach couple had argued about money before a middle-of-the-night stun-gun attack led to an attempted murder charge against the husband, an investigator said.

“The couple had fought over finances before the alleged assault,” said Broward Sheriff’s Sgt. Aimee Russo.

The agency was called to the 5200 block of West Lakes Drive at 2:44 a.m. Saturday in response to a disturbance.

fl-deerfield-attempted-murder-20141027-001-thumbnailJohn Talbot, 65, had knelt next to Nadette, 62, his wife of 28 years, while she slept, deputies said.

He used a stun gun on her multiple times in an attempt to incapacitate her and pressed a white plastic bag against her face to try and suffocate her, according to Deputy Louis J. Bonhomme’s report.

“She told investigators that ‘”he looked weird, as if he was not himself,’” Russo said.

The weapon is called a drive stun Taser, meaning it didn’t have prongs attached to wires, like those used by police, said Russo, who works in the special victims unit.

Nadette Talbot said she was able to stop the attack by “‘Fighting like a b—–!'” Bonhomme wrote.

She was never unconscious and was not injured, according to Russo.

On Monday, Talbot appeared in Broward County court for the charge of attempted premeditated murder. When arrested Saturday night, Talbot had been charged with aggravated battery causing bodily harm.

Russo said the second charge, attempted murder, was added after investigators had a chance to talk further with Nadette Russo.

“We were still looking at more evidence that included her supplemental statement,” Russo said. “She was just better able to explain what happened in terms of the plastic bag and Taser.”

Assistant Public Defender Brian Reidy said Monday that he could not comment on behalf of John Talbot because they had not yet met. Reidy could not be reached Tuesday.

Talbot does not have a criminal record in Florida, according to state records.


Neighbors say they’re fed up with excess mothballs

Neighbors in a Mandarin community say they’re fed up with an annoying and smelly situation on Spurline Drive South. Hundreds of mothballs line one woman’s driveway. She says it’s to repel animals from her yard, her neighbors argue it’s a ridiculous move that they believe is a health hazard.

“It started off with just a few and now it’s got over 400 or more,” said Dana Nicol.

635500488159246805-mothballsHundreds of mothballs, some bagged, others loose and a good amount of them are crushed into the pavement of Nicol’s neighbors driveway.

“She drives back and forth and crushes them up with her car to make them stink even more,” said Nicol.

Besides the smell Nicol who is 5 months pregnant is concerned about possible health hazards.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center, mothballs are not intended to be used outdoors. Its ingredients can contaminate plants, water supplies, harm wildlife and contribute to air pollution.

Kim Bristol filed a complaint with the City of Jacksonville, urging them to do something about her neighbors excessive use of mothballs.

“I’ve talked to nearby neighbors and we’re suffering symptoms from the mothballs,” said Bristol. “Respiratory, coughing, headaches and it’s not just adults. It’s also affecting the children. My own children included.”

We visited the home at the center of the dispute. The woman inside told FCN the mothballs are to stop her neighbor’s dogs from defecating in her yard. She went on to say she has no intentions of cleaning up and doesn’t believe the mothballs scattered about her driveway is making anyone sick.

“We care about our children, we care about the lives in our community,” said Bristol. “I’m just trying to be heard, trying to get help.”

The city has not given the homeowner a citation, they visited the property on October 23 and the investigation is ongoing.


Woman charged with cutting her next-door neighbor while stealing his beer

A man was injured when he confronted his next-door neighbor after she entered his residence and started taking beer out of his refrigerator, according to Bradenton police.

sfl-flduh-cut-swiped-beer-20141028-001About 5 a.m. Monday, Patricia Coffee entered her neighbor’s residence in the 400 block of Fifth Street West and started taking the beer out of the refrigerator, according to a report.

“The owner of the residence woke up to the noise and walked into the kitchen and confronted the female suspect,” the report states. “She displayed a serrated steak knife and the victim grabbed it, cutting his right hand in two places in the process.”

The victim released the knife, and Coffee ran out the back door to her residence next door.

Officers made contact with the woman, who was not named in the report, and arrested her on a charge of armed burglary.

On Tuesday, she was being held in the Manatee County jail on $20,000 bond.


Man bares more than his soul in a ‘spiritual calling’

Filed under: Bad Luck,Controversy,Drugs,Florida Nut,Really Dumb,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 9:20 pm

A naked man spotted at a Port St. Lucie intersection told police he felt a “spiritual calling” to be outside in his birthday suit and that he saw “strange things in the sky.”
sfl-flduh-naked-man-genital-ring-20141028-001What could be called the case of the nude dude with accessorized private parts began about 10:48 p.m. at Southwest Halcomb Street and Southwest Paar Drive where police noticed Berfield in the buff.When Port St. Lucie police encountered Keith Berfield, 56, on Oct. 17, the only thing he had on was “a large metal ring around his testicles,” according to recently released records.

Asked why he was outside naked, Berfield said he felt a “spiritual calling.”

He said he’d been “called” to his back porch and further “moved” or “called” outside where he noticed “strange things in the sky.”

“The defendant (Berfield) could not describe what he meant by strange things but stated that he has been seeing this for the past several days and that standing in the driveway naked with officers was deja vu,” a report states.

He started rambling about a “spiritual initiation,” and investigators suspected he may be under the influence of drugs.

He told police he had “meth and weed” in his home, which is nearby. Police and Berfield went in his residence, and Berfield threw on a pair of underwear.

paraphernalia-table-e1413980457996Investigators found a variety of drugs, including suspected LSD, methamphetamine and marijuana.

Berfield was taken to the hospital, and police asked him again why he was outside naked. He said he’d been on drugs and wasn’t really sure why.

Berfield, of the 3900 block of Southwest Halcomb Street in Port St. Lucie, was arrested on seven felony and two misdemeanor drug-related charges.


Judge rules city’s two-hour parking spots unconstitutional. “I will tell you the city does not agree with the order” October 28, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Controversy,Interesting,Lawsuit,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:58 pm

A judge ruled this week that an ordinance regulating two-hour parking restrictions in the city’s downtown core violates the law, sparking questions about an often-buzzed-about topic.

SP_298481_ALLE_Parking_03_14100724_8colPinellas County Judge William Overton declared city code section 26-152, which sets out rules for parking limitations in central downtown, to be unconstitutional.

In doing so, Overton sided with St. Petersburg lawyer Chris Sierra, who launched a legal campaign this year after he says the city erroneously issued him a ticket for remaining too long in a two-hour parking space. He argued that the city’s restrictions were too vague for drivers to understand.

“They have kind of arbitrary ways of enforcing these things,” Sierra said, referring to the city’s current method of chalking tires and snapping pictures of vehicles parked in nonmetered, but time-restricted, spaces downtown. “The ordinance doesn’t tell you what you can and cannot do. (The judge) agreed.”

On Friday, Assistant City Attorney Sharon Michnowicz told the Tampa Bay Times that the case isn’t over and that officials have filed a motion for a rehearing.

“I will tell you the city does not agree with the order,” Michnowicz said.

So what happens now?

Sierra said he believed the city stopped enforcing the parking code on Wednesday afternoon after being notified of the ruling.

But Evan Mory, the city’s director of transportation and parking, said that was not the case. Staffers are still issuing two-hour parking tickets, he said.

“Our enforcement’s going same as usual,” Mory said Friday. “I know somebody challenged it. I didn’t know the judge had ruled. … I haven’t been informed to stop anything.”

Despite the judge’s decision on the ordinance, the city did not have to stop writing tickets, Michnowicz said. Earlier this month, Overton verbally granted the city’s request for a rehearing, which means his ruling does not take effect immediately, she said.

Sierra’s problem with the ordinance has always been personal.

In January, he parked in an unmetered, two-hour spot in front of his law office in the 600 block of Central Avenue. At some point, he said, he left for a client meeting in Largo.

“I’d been gone for an hour and a half to two hours,” Sierra said. “When I came back, I parked back in front of my office, in what just so happened to be the same spot.”

Thirty minutes later, Sierra said, someone issued him a ticket for being in the spot too long, despite him leaving in between.

“I’ve gotten a ticket for overtime before. This one I knew I was in the right,” Sierra said. “It wasn’t my fault.”

Sierra fought his ticket, which a judge dismissed in March, because the lawyer had left the city in between his two instances of parking in the same spot. But Sierra said he heard similar complaints from others who park downtown. A few months later, two women who work in a boutique next to his office got similar parking tickets.

Sierra took their case, which is what resulted in this week’s order.

As written, Sierra said, the code makes it a violation for someone to move their car to a nearby spot to avoid getting a ticket, which he said is common practice.

Particularly interesting, Sierra said, is a sentence that reads:

“The changing of the parked position of a vehicle from one parking space directly to another parking space within the same block on either side of the street or roadway shall be deemed one continuous parking period.”

Sierra also argued that the code doesn’t indicate whether the two-hour limit means two consecutive or cumulative hours. He also said since the word “block” is undefined, a person doesn’t know where exactly they can move their car to avoid a ticket.

The city disagrees.

“Our position is it’s not vague,” Michnowicz said.



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