The Bizarre World of Florida

Man stole cellphone, tried to sell it back to victim September 30, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Dumb,Really Dumb,Robbers,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:27 pm

A Palmetto man was charged with theft and dealing in stolen property Sunday, according to the Palmetto Police Department.

Willie Ray Robinson, 36, was arrested at 6:12 p.m. at his home. An hour prior, a report states that Robinson was caught on video camera taking the victim’s cell phone from the counter of a store at 920 10th Ave. W., Palmetto. He was seen placing it in his pocket before leaving and going home.

According to a report, the victim used her mother’s phone to try to contact Robinson. Robinson did not answer the calls but responded via text. According to police, he agreed to sell the phone back to her for $50, which is the amount he said he paid for the phone. He later confessed to the crime.

Robinson was being held in Manatee County jail on bonds totaling $7,620, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office website.


Granny sentenced for coaxing granddaughter to steal donation jar

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Disgusting,Dumb,Fraud,Really Dumb,Robbers,Sad Story,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:25 pm

sfl-flduh-granny-donation-jar-20140929-001The woman who used her granddaughter to steal a donation jar from a store will spend some time behind bars. A judge sentenced Rhonda Allen to 18 months in prison Monday.

Surveillance video from a store in Plant City showed Allen coaxing her granddaughter to steal the jar right off the counter.

Those donations were meant for a 15-year-old girl who was battling lupus.

Allen was emotional during her sentencing. She told the judge she had relapsed and started doing drugs again.

She said she regrets everyday what she put her granddaughter through.

“How could I have done this to my granddaughter? I’m sorry, I’m upset, but its killing me. My grandbabies are my life and I don’t really care what’s gonna happen,” she told the judge. “It’s already done and I’m very sorry and I’ve talked to the victim and I’ve told her how very sorry I am.”

Allen had a history of prostitution and theft, which factored into her sentencing.


Cancelled: Redneck Christmas Parade is too “trashy,” organizers say September 26, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Controversy,Dumb,Funny,Really Dumb,Silly,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:41 pm

e26dd_usa-shooting-fort-hood-300x160 parade-float redneck (1) redneck sfl-flduh-redneck-christmas-parade-20140925-001

Say it ain’t so: another tradition bites the dust in the Sunshine State.

Guess they’re dreaming of a more pristine, white Christmas.

Organizers have put the kibosh on their Redneck Christmas Parade, a Panhandle holiday tradition for nearly 20-years in Chumuckla, reports The Lakeland Ledger.

There were John Deeres, beer, cussing, beer, camouflage, beer — and one parade-goer remembers a float with a man atop a Port-a-potty — and more beer, according to The Ledger.


Pig-nappers in the pink after swiping piglet from high school?

Filed under: Robbers,Bizzarre,Really Dumb,WTF?,Dumb,Stupid — floridaduh @ 1:36 pm

The second man suspected of stealing a piglet from a Polk County high school turned himself in to deputies Thursday, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.

sfl-flduh-stole-pig-school-20140925-001Drew Allen Cameron Newman, 20 of Lakeland, was charged with burglary and grand theft of a farm animal, spokeswoman Carrie Horstman said.

Newman and Aaron Douglas Holmes, 19 of Lakeland, allegedly stole the 60-pound piglet from an agriculture barn at George Jenkins High School around 2:40 a.m. on Friday, deputies said Wednesday.

A witness told deputies she was driving around with Holmes and Newman early Friday morning. Holmes, who was driving the woman’s car, drove onto the school’s campus and parked, and the two men told the woman they were “going to get a hog,” deputies said.

They returned to her car with the pig, which they put in her car’s trunk, then drove to Holmes’ truck and moved the animal there, deputies said.

Newman and Holmes did not hold on to the piglet for long, deputies said.

A Lakeland woman found the pig over the weekend and posted a lost-and-found notice on Craigslist. When she saw a news report saying a piglet was missing from the high school, she returned the piglet to its home.

Holmes was arrested Wednesday and charged with burglary and grand theft of a farm animal.


Guess swimming is not the best way to sober up

Filed under: Alcohol,Amazing,Bizzarre,Drunk,DUI,Dumb,Florida Nut,Funny,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:34 pm

Swimming away from a traffic crash may not be the most effective means of escape, but a 24-year-old man appears to have given it a try in Sebastian.

sfl-flduh-swim-avoid-charge-20140925-001The truck ran a stop sign at Indian River Drive, crashing into a guardrail just west of the Indian River.Witnesses told Sebastian police about 1:40 a.m. Sept. 11 that a man identified as Donald Hull was driving a Ford truck east on County Road 512, according to a recently released arrest affidavit.

Hull began to flee on foot and ran into the Indian River, an extremely large body of water. He took off his shirt and swam toward a dock in the 800 block of Indian River Drive.

It’s unclear whether he used the crawl, butterfly or another stroke during the apparent aqueous getaway.

Two witnesses watched Hull as he swam while the third went to the dock.

“The third witness then stood by and observed the defendant swimming around the dock area until law enforcement arrived,” an affidavit states.

Police helped fish Hull out of the water.

Hull, who smelled of booze, first said he’d had a few drinks and was driving on an “unknown road.” He said he had no license, then reported he wasn’t driving and didn’t know how he got there.

Hull declined to participate in field sobriety exercises and declined to take a breath test.

Hull, of the 8800 block of Central Avenue in Micco, was arrested on charges including DUI, driving while license suspended with knowledge and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.


Mom hid baby in car’s trunk to avoid ticket for not having car seat September 25, 2014

Custody of a 5-month-old boy found in the trunk of a car near Lauderhill may be given to the baby’s father or great-grandmother pending the outcome of a home study, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

sfl-flduh-hid-baby-trunk-ticket-20140924-001Broward juvenile dependency Judge Hope Tieman-Bristol made the ruling Wednesday morning. The baby’s mother, Breona Synclair Watkins, 19, attended the hearing in handcuffs.

Watkins was arrested early Tuesday and charged with child abuse, resisting an officer and five traffic-related offenses, including driving without a license and failure to have a child restraint, jail records show.

She is accused of having a 14-year-old boy put the baby in the trunk through an opening in the back seat of the 2005 Dodge Stratus that Watkins was driving. She later told deputies that she did it to avoid getting a ticket for failing to have a child safety seat in the car, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Her grandmother, Laura Richardson, also attended the hearing and told reporters outside the courtroom Wednesday that the episode was a big mistake.

“She got frightened and she did what any child would do because she’s still a child,” Richardson said. “She’s a good mother but she’s still young and she just made a mistake. We all have made mistakes, I’m sure.”

About 1 a.m. Tuesday, a deputy followed Watkins after noticing a headlight was out. The deputy stopped her after about a quarter-mile near the 3100 block of West Sunrise Boulevard, according to the arrest report.

About 15 minutes into the traffic stop, a second deputy heard the baby crying in the trunk, the report stated.

Deputies found the baby lying among plastic bags, garden shears and a large, rusted tire iron. Also surrounding the baby were a used gas can and other hazardous materials. The temperature inside the trunk was significantly warmer than the air outside, deputies said.

The child has been in state foster care since then and was said to be doing well. A guardian ad litem has been appointed to represent the baby’s legal interests while relatives are interviewed for placement, DCF spokeswoman Paige Patterson-Hughes said.

“The court wants that home study completed and if that’s positive then it has to be presented to the guardian ad litem,” she said. “The next step is to have the child moved from foster care to relative care.”

The process typically takes several days.

“They try to get these done pretty quickly,” she said. “There will be supervised visitations permitted.”

The next dependency hearing was scheduled for Oct. 20.

Watkins remained in the Broward Main Jail on Wednesday on a $7,000 bond, jail records showed.


A man named Able sure did raise a lot of Cain during a traffic stop

A 34-year-old Crestview man is accused of threatening to kill a deputy’s family after being arrested for allegedly driving without a valid license.

sfl-flduh-threatened-deputys-family-officers-s-001Larry Joe Able was pulled over on Sept. 12 by Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies for a broken headlight, according to the arrest report. When the deputy asked him for his license, registration and insurance, Able said he didn’t have his license with him.

When the deputy asked if he had a driver’s license, Able replied, “No,” the report said. A check found that Able had three previous convictions for driving while his license was suspended, as well as a current suspension.

Able was arrested, and on the way to jail, because spitting through the cage, according to the report. He “intentionally spit through the cage,” hitting the deputy in the side of the neck twice.

He also began threatening the deputy, telling him, “When I get out of jail, I am going to kill you and your kids,” the report said. He also threatened to make the deputy “pay.”

Able is charged with driving with a suspended license, battery on a law enforcement officer or firefighter and corruption by threat against a public servant.



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