The Bizarre World of Florida

Man hired to fill ATMS instead swiped the cash November 20, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Dumb,Fraud,Really Dumb,Robbers,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:21 pm

A Palm Coast man who worked with his father filling ATMs with cash is on the run after police said he started stealing from the very machines he replenished.

UntitledAccording to Daytona Beach police investigators, 36-year-old Justin Arthur Smith stole $6,500 from ATMs at two bars on Main Street between Halloween and Nov. 2. Police said Smith also took cash from two other ATMs in Holly Hill and Flagler County.

Smith and his father, Kenneth Smith, both work for Money Tree based in Fort Walton Beach, police said. They refill ATMs with cash.

On Nov. 3 when Kenneth Smith went to Dirty Harry’s and Froggy’s Saloon he said that the ATMs were empty, according to an incident report. Employees at both businesses told him that the other ATM man had refilled the machines.

Kenneth Smith, knowing they were talking about his son, reported the thefts, police said.

Kenneth Smith told investigators he had been working with his son, but recently the pair had a falling out, the report states. Kenneth Smith told police his son had the keys and combinations to all the ATMs and that he would have to change the locks and the combinations on the machines, the report states.

Court records show Justin Smith was sentenced to jail for felony drug possession in 2001 and probation for similar charges in 2003. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Monica Lee at leem@dbpd.us or by calling 386-671-5212.


Sleeping on the job? Man found dozing in stolen car

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Dumb,Robbers,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:17 pm

Marion County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 22-year-old man found sleeping in a stolen car at a senior housing complex Monday.

sfl-flduh-dozing-stolen-car-20141119-001Shortly before 6 a.m., two deputies went to the Pacifica Senior Living complex at 11311 SW 95th Circle, Ocala, after a report of a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot, according to a Sheriff’s Office report. One deputy found the man, later identified as Stephen Carroll Steen, asleep in the driver’s seat of a black 2013 Volkswagen Passat.

The deputy woke him up and asked why he was sleeping in the car. Steen told the deputy he had just dropped his girlfriend off at work and was waiting for her.

Steen was unable to tell the deputy his girlfriend’s name, the report states. As for the car, its owner, who lives in Ocoee, had reported it stolen on Nov. 15.

Steen was arrested on grand theft of a motor vehicle.


Catherine Furst: 100-year-old belly dancer still has moves November 19, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Interesting,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:08 pm

WPBF-img-100-year-old-belly-dancer-11-17Catherine Furst, known to her friends as Kay, turned 100 years old over the weekend.

“I don’t feel 100,” Furst said.

Furst isn’t your typical senior citizen. She credits being kind and belly dancing to her long healthy life.

“I started when I was about 30, I think,” Furst said. “That’s when I had a shape.”

But Furst still has a shape. Monday she wore the same outfit she used to belly dance in during the 1970s.

A hairdresser by trade, Furst said she used to dance in the beauty parlor and her customers would invite her to entertain.

“They used to come to my shop and they would get their hair done and invite me to come and dance in those gorgeous homes,” Furst said.

You can watch the video here


Woman, 39, got involved in physical all-girls fight

A 39-year-old Fort Walton Beach woman is charged with participating in a fight between teenage girls in front of a drug store.

patria-delois-holmanOkaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies were called for a large crowd of juveniles fighting in the parking lot of CVS on Nov. 9, according to the arrest report.

One of the participants said she and her cousins were at McDonalds when another woman and her daughters pulled up at CVS.

An argument started in the parking lot, after which a fight broke out, the report said. One of the youths said she heard Patria Delois Holman screaming, “send her to the hospital,” encouraging one of the girls to continue striking another.

While one of the girls was “on the ground,” Holman “kicked (the victim) in the face and in the stomach,” according to the report. A witness reported seeing Holman kick the girl and yell encouragement at another girl.

Holman said she went to the Beal Parkway pharmacy to pick up medicine when a group of girls began taunting a relative, the report said. Holman told deputies that she was just “a mother” who didn’t want to see a child hurt and that the “situation is terrible.”

She denied striking anyone, according to the report. The girl had injuries to her face, arm and leg.

Holman is charged with child abuse without great bodily harm and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.


Notorious 911 caller behind bars … again

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Controversy,Dumb,Florida Nut,Funny,Really Dumb,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:02 pm

A woman who made global headlines in February for calling 911 to get a date with a police officer was back in jail for abusing the emergency system again – though this time her opinion of the officers was a bit different.

sfl-flduh-911-caller-jailed-20141118-001Maria Montanez-Colon, 59, called 911 just before 1 a.m. Friday to report a theft.

Responding officers were familiar with Montanez-Colon and her theft story. They say she gave some of her deceased husband’s possession to her step-son about a year ago, then changed her mind. The issue has been a civil matter since.

The officers told Montanez-Colon they knew all about her claims, which made her angry. They reported she went into her house and slammed the door.

As the officers got back into their cars, Montanez-Colon came out of the house, screaming into her cell phone, “the cops that came over here are complete a****les,” according to the arrest report.

She kept yelling that into the phone, then officers got a call from dispatchers that they were on the other end of Montanez-Colon’s tirade. As per usual, the call was recorded.

Montanez-Colon hung up, went back into her house, then came out a few minutes later and asked the officers what they were doing there.

They arrested her for Misuse of 9-1-1 and took her to the Charlotte County Jail.

Montanez-Colon’s previous run-in with officers started off as a much more cordial affair, with her offering to have sex with the officer, noting that she hadn’t been “penetrated in years.”

It got tense when the officer turned her down, and she called 911 to complain that he wouldn’t have sex with her. The officer did go back to her house – but then he arrested her for Misuse of 911.

Neighbors interviewed at the time said Montanez-Colon isn’t really a threat, but said she has a serious alcohol problem.


Police close case on family’s LSD-tainted Walmart steak dinner. “It is a mystery. And it will probably always remain a mystery” November 18, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Controversy,Drugs,Interesting,Scary,WTF? — floridaduh @ 3:18 pm

Before Elyana Serrano threw up, her sister Rayna was laughing and trying to grab colors out of the air. When Ronnie Morales looked at his hand, he saw several other hands jutting from his wrist. His pregnant girlfriend, Jessica Rosado, couldn’t feel her fingers or toes.

steak_8colDoctors at St. Joseph’s Hospital suspected the family of four had been poisoned when they all showed up there in March. They summoned Tampa police, who tested cuts of steak the family had for lunch. The results showed it was tainted with LSD.

As the case drew international headlines, detectives went to work trying to figure out how the hallucinogenic drug had found its way into the beef.

Eight months later, they still have no answers. Their efforts are chronicled in a police report that was released last week after the case was deemed inactive.

“It is a mystery,” said police spokeswoman Andrea Davis. “And it will probably always remain a mystery.”


Rosado called 911 about 4 p.m. March 3 and reported that Morales was sick. The family drove to the hospital, near their rented home at 2744 Bel Aire Circle, before paramedics arrived.

At the hospital, Morales was having trouble walking and breathing. Rosado told nurses she felt dizzy and was seeing colors. Her heart raced and she began to hyperventilate. The two girls, Elyana, 7, and Rayna, 6, showed similar symptoms.

All had breathing tubes placed in their throats. Rosado was taken to St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital, where she underwent an emergency C-section and delivered a baby boy.

Morales and Rosado later told detectives they had come to Tampa a few days earlier from Connecticut. They were uncertain about whether they wanted to make Florida their home.

That day, Morales told police, they had decided they would move back after the baby was born. He later went to a Walmart and used the last of Rosado’s food stamps to buy the package of bottom-round steak.

He brought it home and baked it in the kitchen oven, the first time he had cooked a meal there, according to the report. He bundled the steak in wheat wraps with onions, seasoning and garlic powder. The family ate. Not long after, they all got sick.

Investigators collected blood and urine samples from the four. They also went to the house and seized the leftover meat, the packaging and the oven in which the food was cooked.

After several federal and state agencies declined to take the case, the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office agreed to test the meat and identified the LSD. When the case made the news, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration assigned agents to assist Tampa police.

The FDA conducted its own tests and also confirmed the drug, police said. Forensic technicians used ultraviolet light to look for traces of the substance in the oven but found none.

Investigators spoke with representatives from Cargill, the company that produced the meat. They learned the beef was slaughtered in Newnan, Ga. From there, it was packed and shipped in a sealed container to a distribution facility in Winter Haven.

Quality control officials at the facility noted no signs of tampering with any of the shipments when they arrived.

The Walmart store, which would have refused any shipments that had been ripped or broken, also accepted all packages. The packages that were discarded from store shelves after the incident showed no sign of tampering, the company said. Likewise, no other reports of illness ever surfaced.

Detectives examined surveillance video from inside the store in the days before Morales made his purchase. At one point, two men were seen near the case where the meat was stored. One leaned into the case for about a minute and a half while the other stepped back, swinging his arms “like he was nervous,” according to the report. Detectives identified the two, a father and son, and interviewed them.

Both recalled being in the store. They were shown the video and acknowledged that they appeared “suspicious,” but denied doing anything wrong, the report said. Neither had a documented history of drug-related arrests. Investigators concluded they were not involved.


Within days of their release from the hospital, Morales, Rosado and the children returned to Connecticut. Investigators considered the possibility that one of them had put LSD in the meat.

In April, a Tampa detective traveled with USDA and FDA agents to Waterbury, Conn., and reinterviewed the couple. The police report offers no specifics about what was asked, but notes that the couple was cooperative. Both gave statements consistent with their previous stories. Both also consented to polygraph tests, police said. They passed.

Other leads were examined, but none apparently yielded anything significant. On Oct. 21, police labeled the case inactive.

“All of the victims recovered completely and none are suffering any adverse effects from the LSD exposure,” Detective Rachel Cholnik wrote. “There is no further investigation at this time.”


Mom, daughter both give birth on the same day, same hospital

Filed under: Amazing,Beautiful,Bizzarre,Funny,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 3:15 pm

Madeline Penticoff was 1 day old Wednesday, so was her nephew Damien.

5756594_G“It’s over emotional, it’s awesome. It’s a blessing. I don’t think I could’ve been any luckier,” said Madeline’s mother Heather Penticoff.

Nine months ago Destinee Martin told her mom Heather the exciting news! That same day Heather found out she was pregnant too.

“This is something that you can’t plan. This is something God sets in motion, and you just roll with the punches,” Penticoff said.

Destinee and Heather both had the same due dates, then for separate medical reasons doctors decided to induce both of them Tuesday. Madeline was born first weighing 8 lbs. 15 oz.. 2 hours and 46 minutes later, Damien came into the world at 7 lbs. 9 oz.

“It’s like having twins without carrying twins,” said Heather.

Their experience expecting together is unique, just like the ages of other relatives of this Lee County family. Destinee has two aunts and an uncle younger than her.

“It’s a blessing all around,” Heather said, “I’m just proud of her, so proud of Destinee.”

“To have my mom going through it with me is probably the most special, amazing thing ever,” added Destinee.

If it takes a village to raise a child, these two newborns have nothing to worry about because their little village is one of a kind.



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