The Bizarre World of Florida

Dumbass teen bitten on the lip by a water moccasin that he kept in a pillow cover April 22, 2015

2898744_GA Wimauma teen is hospitalized at Tampa General Hospital after he was bit on the face by a cottonmouth snake on Saturday night. Cottonmouth snakes are also known as water moccasins.

Investigators say Austin Hatfield, 18, had captured the snake several days earlier, put it in a pillowcase and kept the pillowcase on his bed.

At some point on Saturday night, the snake escaped and the teen grabbed it close to his chest. The snake then bit him in the face, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Spokesperson Gary Morse.

Emergency crews responded to the home at about 11:45 p.m. and transported Hatfield to TGH where the teen is in good condition.

The snake was euthanized and was brought to TGH for identification.

FWC is investigating because of the injury and it is against the law to possess a venomous snake without a permit.

No charges have been filed.


Dollar store robber held knife to clerk, but left prints behind April 17, 2015

A robber who made off with $4,000 from a Family Dollar store unwittingly left behind fingerprints and the kitchen knife he wielded during the Feb. 22 holdup, investigators say.


Using that evidence, police arrested Jefte Jacques, 31, four days later. He was being held without bond at the Joseph V. Conte jail in Pompano Beach.

Investigators now want to take a DNA swab from Jacques to compare to DNA found on the knife and on a cash register tray, according to a search warrant.

A clerk at the Family Dollar at 1801 N. Federal Highway told police it was about 8:48 a.m. when the suspected robber entered the store, followed her and placed the blade of a knife against her back.

“Open the safe or I’m going to kill you,” she said he demanded. “You think I’m playing, b—- I’ll kill you.”

When the clerk opened the cash register, the robber, who wore a dark hoodie pulled over his head, put the knife on the ground, reached into the register, removed the cash tray and emptied it into a small plastic bag, the warrant said.

When the clerk next opened the safe, the robber took the money and put it into a large Family Dollar shopping bag and split.

Detectives lifted Jacques’ fingerprints from the cash tray and collected the knife as evidence, the warrant said.

A store manager advised that Jacques had never worked there and there was no reason for his prints to be on the register.

“The lack of a legitimate reason for the presence of Jefte Jacques’ latent prints on the change tray established probable cause for his arrest,” the March 30 warrant said. “The collection of defendant Jefte Jacques’ DNA would be compared to the kitchen knife and DNA collected from the crime scene.”


Note that the word idiot starts with ID April 12, 2015

After about an hour-long search, a man was arrested Saturday morning after he was involved in a hit-and-run crash along State Road 417 and ran away from the scene. He was tracked down after he left his wallet in the car he abandoned, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

1428201165859Russell Lamar Roberts, 25, was charged with driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of a crash.

Accord to troopers, a driver, later identified Roberts, was driving southbound on northbound State Road 417 in the area of Trevarthon Road, in Orange County.

Just before 9 a.m., Roberts’ black Chevrolet crashed into a white Mazda.

Roberts exited his vehicle and ran from the scene, troopers said. Witnesses in the area attempted to stop Roberts, but he reportedly jumped over a fence and proceeded to run away from the crash scene.

As troopers investigated the crash, they noticed Roberts’ wallet was left inside the vehicle. Roberts’ driver’s license was inside the wallet, a report states.

The man was later located in Orlando by an Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputy “on the floor and lying in his own blood,” a report states.

Roberts was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center for his injuries, where he was questioned by troopers.

According to the report, Roberts couldn’t recall the accident but stated “he might have fallen asleep behind the wheel.”

Roberts said he couldn’t recall why or how he was involved in the crash or why he left the scene.

Roberts was medically released and then taken to the Orange County Jail.

Sgt. Kim Montes, of the Florida Highway Patrol, said the arresting trooper asked for Roberts to me medically re-evaluated.

“The trooper does not suspect drugs or alcohol and does not know why the driver was traveling in the wrong direction,” Montes said.


SWAT team responds to home invasion call, find pot-growing operation April 11, 2015

Three men are in custody after a home invasion at a Hialeah home that also ended up having more than 50 pounds of pot inside.

Hialeah Police said around 7 a.m. on Thursday, Lazaro Espinosa, the owner of the home, located at 1750 West 62nd Street, went outside to feed his birds.

That’s when Jorge Valdes, 30, and Fernando Fernandez, 27, wearing masks and bulletproof vests, went up to him and identified themselves as police, authorities said.

Officers said the two men forced Espinosa back into his home where they held him and his wife at gunpoint.

Police said the men then started beating up Espinosa while demanding money.  They then went to his wife and asked her if anyone else was in the home. She said no.

Meantime, their 16-year old daughter was calling police.

“From a frantic 16-year old girl, locked in the bathroom of her home, telling us that there are armed men inside her house, robbing her parents at gunpoint,” said Hialeah Police Det. Carl Zogby.

Hialeah Police released the 911 call in which you hear the daughter frantically begging for help to come.

“There’s two robbers in my house. They have guns. Please, please, please come,” said the daughter.

At one point during the call, you hear yelling in the background and her voice drops.  The operator then tells her to hide herself and put herself in the bathroom.

“Please come fast. They’re going to kill my parents. Please,” she plead over the phone, sounding as though she is crying. Meantime the operator tries to keep her on the line and calm her down.

“Are they here? Please tell me they’re here,” said the daughter while crying. “They’re going to kill my parents.”

Shortly after, you hear the girl saying “mami” and you hear the mother say, “That’s it my love,” as the girl cried and yelled, “where is my father” repeatedly.

A SWAT team, that happened to be in the area, had responded to the scene. They were able to catch up with the two men who were trying to get away, throwing away bullet proof vests, badges and holsters, among other things along the way.

One neighbor, Mayda Martinez, said she saw them tossing wads of cash.

“He dropped the money in front of my apartment so all the money is over there on the floor,” said Martinez.

Police later learned their motive. Inside the home, officers found more than 50 pounds of pot  and growing materials.

“They targeted this home because the father actually had an illegal narcotics operation in the house and they felt that there would be cash and things of value,” said Zogby.


Fernandez and Valdez are facing robbery, battery and police impersonation charges.

During the investigation, officers also found out that Valdes is Espinosa’s current son in law.

Espinosa was also taken away by police and has been charged with Cannabis Trafficking. His wife and daughter are not facing charges at this time.

Florida Power and Light was also called to the home to disable a rigged set up where huge amounts of power was being stolen to power the operation.


Jogger wearing earbuds hit, killed by Amtrak train in Polk County March 31, 2015

amtrak-sunset-limitedA man was killed Monday after he was hit by an Amtrak train while jogging alongside train tracks in Polk County while wearing headphones.

The crash happened at noon, according to Carrie E. Horstman, a spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

“The conductor blew the train horn several times, to no avail. The jogger continued on as if not hearing the approaching train,” she said in an email. “The train made every effort to alert the man and stop, but struck the man, and he is deceased on-scene.”

The victim was 26-year-old Edwardo Salazar of Frostproof.

An autopsy will be conducted and an investigation is ongoing.

“The conductor and family members confirmed he was wearing earbuds while jogging, which were plugged into his iPod,” Horstman said.

He was hit by the Miami-to-New York Amtrak 98 Silver Meteor after it stopped in Sebring while enroute to Winter Haven.

It was traveling in Frostproof just under the U.S. Highway 27 overpass when the conductor saw an adult male who appeared to be jogging alongside the tracks on the outer wood cross beams, she said.


Duo arrested in burglaries after being caught in act by homeowner March 30, 2015

Volusia County deputies have arrested a duo they say teamed up to burglarize DeLand homes before they were caught in the act by a homeowner on Thursday afternoon.

Tobias-Cobb--Kimberly-Jarrell-jpgTobias Cobb, 35, and Kimberly Jarrell, 38, were arrested after deputies say Jarrell would knock on doors to check if potential burglary victims were home and if no one was home, Cobb would burglarize the house.

Deputies said Margaret Gulla, a former weightlifter, came home to her house on Princeton Road to find Cobb in a bedroom of her house.

“You are in my mother and dad’s house and it ain’t happening,” said Gulla.

When Gulla tried to call for help, Cobb smacked her phone out of her hand and punched her in the face, according to the report.

“He hit me, so I socked him in his eye and he was trying to get away and I had him by his shirt and I wouldn’t let go. I tried to drag him to get to the phone,” said Gulla.

A neighbor chased Cobb to a plaza on South Woodland Boulevard and flagged down a deputy.

Deputies said Cobb surrendered after a deputy tracked him to a closet and said “You can come out of the closet or you can be bit by my dog.”

Deputies found a hammer, rubber gloves and the victim’s family’s jewelry in his backpack, according to a release.

Cobb was charged with burglary with assault/battery, burglary of an occupied structure, grand theft, depriving the use of 911, resisting an officer without violence, possession of burglary tools and criminal mischief.

Jarrell was arrested on a principal to burglary charge after the neighbor spotted her walking with Cobb just before the burglary.

They were both booked into Volusia County jail.

“Just don’t come back to my house again, because the next time you’ll get shot,” said Gulla.


Deadbeat dad’s backyard meth cookout is a bust March 26, 2015

On March 21, deputies responded to the home of William Mitchell Golden, 46, of 1892 Flowerview Blvd., Laurel Hill, for an active warrant for failure to pay child support.

william-mitchell-golden-and-gregory-parmerDeputies located Golden and Gregory Parmer, 51, of 6370 County Highway 147 Laurel Hill, in a shed on the property.

Golden was wearing a mask over his nose and mouth, along with safety goggles. Deputies immediately smelled a strong chemical odor in the shed, and saw paraphernalia associated with the use of methamphetamine in plain view.

Investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Unit arrived and performed a consensual search of the property.

Several used “one-Pot” cooking vessels were found, along with a small amount of finished methamphetamine, Adderall, less than 20 grams of marijuana and a trafficking amount of methamphetamine oil.

Golden was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance without prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia, and trafficking in methamphetamine.

Parmer was charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Both were transported and booked at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Jail.



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