The Bizarre World of Florida

Indicted fire official paid $120,000 to stay home for 7 months November 30, 2011

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,Dispute,Fraud,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:58 pm

Assistant Fire Chief Veldora Arthur received $120,000 in salary after she was  charged with conspiring to commit mortgage fraud despite a policy calling for  unpaid leave or reassignment.

mug_ArthurVE.jpgMiami Assistant Fire Chief Veldora Arthur is on the hot seat: In February she was federally indicted for allegedly taking part in a $11-million mortgage fraud scheme.

Since then, the city has paid her more than $120,000 to stay home despite a policy stating that non-union employees charged criminally should be placed on unpaid leave or reassigned, reports The Miami Herald.

Arthur’s only work duties were to be in her house 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, with an hour lunch break, and to call the office twice a day.

Taxpayers are fuming mad.


Spray-painting suspect caught red-handed

Filed under: Bad Luck,Children acting badly,Florida Nut,Really Dumb,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:56 pm

A Panama City Beach man was arrested and charged with criminal mischief on  suspicion of causing more than $1,000 in damage to a church and hundreds of  dollars in damages to two other businesses, reports the Panama City News Herald.

mug_Persinger.jpgA Bay County Sheriff’s Office deputy literally caught 19-year-old Elmer  Persinger red-handed during an investigation into apparently gang-related  graffiti found Saturday night at Emerald Coast Assembly of God Church,  Affordable towing and Johnstone Supply.

The graffiti consisted of a series of words and symbols associated with the  street gang known as the Bloods. Members of the gang are known to wear red  clothing to identify themselves as members of the Bloods.

According to an arrest affidavit: the deputy was sitting in his patrol car  writing a report when Persinger, dressed in all red, passed by the car. The  deputy initiated a conversation with Persinger, who admitted his affiliation  with the Bloods but denied painting any buildings. The deputy noted in his  report that Persinger had red paint on his hands.

Persinger said that he had been with some other men earlier that night who  may have tagged the buildings to set him up. The deputy also noted in his report  that a number of the symbols painted on the church and the other buildings were  identical to some of Persinger’s numerous tattoos.

“With evidence increasingly pointing to Mr. Persinger’s involvement” the  deputy took Persinger to the station for an interview and he was subsequently  arrested.

Read more:  http://www.newsherald.com/articles/panama-98701-red-beach.html#ixzz1fCVVBdS9



Cold case solved: Woman’s 911 call leads to her own arrest

Heather Lynn Mayo called the Pinellas Sheriff’s Office to ask deputies to come kick her boyfriend, who had just been released from jail, out of their place, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

mug_MayoH.jpgBut it was Mayo who ended up leaving in handcuffs, authorities said, after her boyfriend revealed that the 33-year-old mother was the driver in a fatal hit-and-run crash 10 months ago in Pinellas Park.

Mayo’s own call to authorities ended up implicating her in the Feb. 4 death of Jeannie Fisher, who died three days before her 51st birthday.

Fisher was walking east across northbound 66th Street N when she was hit and fatally injured in the center lane near the 9700 block, according to police.

All Pinellas Park police knew then was that Fisher was struck by a Ford truck, possibly an SUV, that lost its passenger side mirror and front turn signal.

But the case went cold for 10 months — until Monday evening.

Mayo called deputies to remove her boyfriend, Robert Worden, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He had just gotten out of the county jail after serving 40 days for obtaining property with a worthless check. Mayo said she was scared of him. Worden, 34, said he just wanted to see his 7-year-old daughter.

The boyfriend agreed to leave the Palm Harbor apartment. But as Worden walked out with the deputies, he pointed to a damaged black 1997 Ford Ranger in the apartment complex parking lot and said he had a story to tell them.

Worden told deputies that Mayo borrowed a neighbor’s pickup on Feb. 4 to drive to Pinellas Park to buy marijuana, authorities said. That night, Worden told deputies, he said Mayo texted him that she had struck a deer.

Then, weeks later, Worden told deputies that Mayo broke down and told him that she had actually hit someone on 66th Street N. Mayo knew the person was dead, according to Worden, but was too scared of going to jail to stop.

The pedestrian violated the driver’s right of way that night, according to police. But under Florida law, police said, the driver had a legal obligation to stop and identify herself.

After Worden told deputies what he knew Monday night, the Sheriff’s Office called the Pinellas Park Police Department, which sent officers to Palm Harbor to question Mayo. She confessed, according to police, and was arrested.

When Pinellas Park police inspected the Ford Ranger they got their second break in the case that night: the neighbor’s truck was still damaged and still missing parts. No repairs were made in the 10 months after the fatal crash.

“We found pieces of the turn signal and the passenger side mirror at the scene (of Fisher’s death),” said Pinellas Park police Sgt. Brian Unmisig, “and they matched the parts that the vehicle was missing.”

Fisher was born in Indianapolis and raised in Indiana, Kentucky and South Africa, according to her obituary. She graduated from Largo High School in 1978 and had one son, Taylor. She was a waitress who enjoyed the beach and solving crossword puzzles. Her family could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Mayo was also arrested on a warrant for driving with a suspended or revoked license. According to state records, her license was suspended in 2009 and 2010 for failing to pay traffic fines and last year she was cited for DUI.

She was booked into the Pinellas jail, where she was being held Tuesday in lieu of $52,250 bail.


Woman exposes buttocks to give neighbor ‘something to take a picture of!

Mercedes Donahue, 52, and her neighbor have had a running 14-year-feud.

That’s a long time: The dispute dates back to the year the first book in the award winning Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling was published and the Spice Girls were topping the charts.

In the latest chapter her neighbor filmed her dogs running without a leash, reports Will Greenlee in his Off the Beat blog for TCPalm.com in Stuart.

mug_DonahueM.jpgSo after putting her dogs away, Donahue stood near her neighbor’s driveway, lowered her pants and pointed to her bare-naked behind “to give him something before to take a picture of,” before kicking over rocks from a rock wall between their homes, according to an arrest affidavit.

She also told the responding cop that she is an angry person and her neighbor “will see what her Cuban temper is really  like,” according to the police report.

We think he already saw enough.


Man attempted to sell jewelry to store manager whose home he burglarized

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Robbers,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:49 pm

Of all the boutiques in all the towns in all the world, Collier County sheriff’s deputies say Nathaniel Coleman tried to sell stolen jewelry to the one managed by the woman whose home he had just burglarized, reports The Naples Daily News.

Coleman, 33, was arrested Monday at Marilyn’s Boutique.

The store manager of Marilyn’s Boutique was working at the store when Coleman approached her with several items of jewelry that he said he wished to sell to her, according to an arrest report. As she began to look at the pieces of jewelry she told deputies she started to recognize the items as her own.

The woman then told Coleman to excuse her for a moment while she walked to the back of the store and called her husband on the phone, according to

reports. Deputies said the woman’s husband arrived at the store around the same time they did. Deputies then transported the woman and Coleman to the Immokalee substation for further investigation, reports said.

The woman’s husband and deputies arrived at the victim’s home where they found the back door had been forced open and the inside of the home had been ransacked, according to reports. The victims told deputies they wished to press charges against Coleman.

Coleman faces charges of grand theft, dealing in stolen property and defrauding a pawnbroker.



Former teacher gets a dozen additional charges

Filed under: Child Abuse,Controversy,Florida Nut,Really Dumb,Sex,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:46 pm

About a dozen additional charges have been filed against the former teacher found in an Ohio motel room with a 16-year-old boy from Shalimar.

The Crestview Police Department has charged Amanda Cooney with two counts of armed burglary, two counts of grand theft of a firearm, two counts of petit theft, two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, unarmed burglary, burglary, grand theft and forgery.

These new charges are in addition to the previous charges of burglary to a motor vehicle, theft, fraudulent use of a credit card and forgery.

The 25-year-old Crestview resident was originally arrested on Nov. 4 in Ohio after a Riverside Police Department officer ran her plates and saw that a national alert had been issued for her for fleeing with the teenager.

Officials found a stolen handgun and a small bag of marijuana inside their motel room.

Cooney was extradited to Florida the week of Nov. 17 to face the burglary-related charges. The teenager was extradited back to Florida for violating his probation and also faces charges.

Cooney’s new charges stem from four different incidents in October.

The first incident occurred Oct. 14 when Cooney and the 16-year-old took a Taurus semi-automatic pistol and a video camera from a vehicle on Northview Lane in Crestview.

That gun was the one found with the two in Ohio.

When Cooney was interviewed about the burglary, she said she helped the teenager and a couple other people, who have not yet been named, break into several cars because “she was a people person, didn’t want to be a party pooper and because they needed the money,” according to a probable cause document released by Crestview Police Department.

Later that month, Cooney was spotted on Walmart surveillance video using a gift card that had been reported stolen from a vehicle. She confessed to using other stolen credit cards that day to make purchases at a convenience store and Walmart.

At the end of October, the day after a man reported someone had broken into his vehicle and taken three credit cards, Cooney was spotted at a store using one of those credit cards to buy “tobacco products.”

At the same time that man reported his vehicle had been broken into, his neighbor also stated his vehicle was broken into and a handgun was taken.

According to the police reports, Cooney has admitted to helping break into the vehicles and then using the credit cards in all these cases.

The Crestview Police Department started investigating Cooney for the burglaries prior to her arrest in Ohio, but it has taken some time to get all the warrants, said Lt. Andrew Schneider, a spokesman for the police department.

In addition to the charges in Crestview, Cooney might also face charges from the Shalimar Police Department for leaving the state with the teenager.

Additionally, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the report of “unlawful sexual activity” between a 25-year-old former teacher and a 16-year-old boy. Officials at the Sheriff’s Office said they would not name the suspect unless charges are filed.

Until she resigned on Nov. 3, Cooney was working as a reading teacher at Okaloosa Academy Charter School in Fort Walton Beach.

Read more: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/articles/charges-45572-burglary-theft.html#ixzz1f83kcHls


Mom, daughter charged with attacking pregnant woman

Filed under: Abuse,Bad Mother,Bad Temper,Bizzarre,Controversy,Dispute,Fight,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:43 pm

Two women were charged with attacking a pregnant woman during a domestic dispute Nov. 26.

According to a press release from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Jessica Shipman, 19, of Ponce De Leon, and her mother, Mary Randolph, 46, of DeFuniak Springs, attacked the pregnant girlfriend of Shipman’s brother.

The incident started at a Knox Hill Road home when Shipman chased her brother and threw at least two knives in his direction.

After the event, Randolph allegedly struck the pregnant woman in the face. Shipman allegedly continued the altercation by repeatedly striking the pregnant woman.

Shipman was charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, a third-degree felony; and two counts of aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, a second-degree felony.

Randolph was charged with two counts of aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, a second-degree felony.

Shipman and Randolph were booked into the Walton County Jail.

Read more: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/articles/attacking-45568-woman-pregnant.html#ixzz1f83W0T00



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