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The Bizarre World of Florida

Girl, 3, left in liquor store as mom scrambled to stash boyfriend’s gun February 19, 2015

A 3-year-old stood frozen in fear inside a Deerfield Beach liquor store as her mother scrambled to hide a handgun after her boyfriend shot himself in the leg, authorities said.

liquorStefanie Felicia Stern, 28, was arrested Tuesday and faces charges of child neglect without great bodily harm and tampering with evidence, jail records show. She is accused of leaving her daughter alone in a liquor store while she and her boyfriend disposed of a gun with which he had shot himself.

During first-appearance court Wednesday, Broward Judge John “Jay” Hurley set Stern’s bond at $2,000 and appointed a guardian for her daughter.

“She left her daughter alone in the liquor store and placed her in harm’s way,” Hurley read from a report. “The daughter is seen frozen in fear as she witnesses these events.”

Stern was with her daughter and Reginald Leon Lee, 34, inside the B21 Liquor store at 4591 N. Dixie Hwy. on Dec. 22 when Lee started arguing with another customer, according to her arrest warrant.
Lee chased the customer out of the store with a gun; when he walked back inside he fumbled with his pants and shot himself in the right leg, the warrant said. Lee then handed the gun to Stern and the two ran to a nearby alley to hide the gun, leaving the child in the store.

When deputies arrived at the liquor store, Lee told them he had been shot by a stranger and he needed an ambulance, the warrant said. Lee was taken to Broward Health North, where he refused to cooperate with authorities. Lee is not facing charges.

Stern told detectives she did not see what happened or how Lee had been shot, the warrant said.

Detectives went to the liquor store the next day and viewed surveillance footage that shows the argument, Lee shooting himself, and he and Stern leaving the child and trying to hide the gun, the warrant said.

 

Mother dies after being shot, stabbed by husband in front of their children February 13, 2015

A woman who was brutally attacked by her husband in front of their children early Thursday morning died overnight, according to Hillsborough County sheriff’s officials.

Keith-DukesMichelle Dukes, 34, was airlifted in critical condition to Tampa General Hospital from her street in Riverview on Thursday morning after her husband, Keith Dukes, 48, allegedly slit her throat and shot her multiple times in the upper body, the sheriff’s office said. He now faces a charge of second-degree murder.

After the incident Thursday morning, Hillsborough deputies found Keith Dukes near the family’s home, standing in the Alafia River. He told them he did it because his wife tried to take their daughters away.

“My life is over,” Keith Dukes told deputies as they apprehended him, according to a probable cause affidavit. “I wish you could have just killed me. Just take me to jail.” According to the affidavit, he had been separated from his wife for about a year.

The couple’s daughters, ages 7, 13 and 14, were waiting in the car for a ride to school when the violence broke out. Keith Dukes first stabbed or cut his wife in the throat inside their home at 8818 Van Fleet Road, a quiet suburban street with no sidewalks and ranch homes. She ran from the house screaming for help and her daughters, who saw her from the car, ran with her, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said at a news conference Thursday morning.

A passing Waste Management truck driver saw the family running toward him, begging for help, so he called 911. Michelle Dukes was covered in blood.

“I saw a cut going from one side of her neck to the other,” the driver, Jason Alvarez, said.

A neighbor who had come outside after he heard commotion gave the dispatcher the address. In the meantime, the family took refuge in another neighbor’s home.

A short time later, Alvarez heard a gunshot. Keith Dukes had broken into the neighbor’s home where his wife and children were hiding. He fired three shots, according to the affidavit, before a witness wrestled the gun from him.

The children were uninjured, Gee said, but surely traumatized. They were staying with a family member Thursday night.

 

Man accused of trying to lure girls with promises of candy February 10, 2015

A Hollywood man is accused of promising candy to two young girls if they would go with him on a bus ride, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

Damian-FletcherDamian Anthony Fletcher, 32, was charged Monday with trying to lure or entice a child under 12, a misdemeanor, but bond was increased to $150,000. He also had a previous bond revoked for violating probation for an unrelated charge of carrying a concealed weapon, jail records showed.

According to the arrest report filed in the case, Fletcher approached the 9-year-old and 11-year-old girls in the 4700 block of Southwest 18th Street in West Park, Saturday afternoon.

Fletcher said, “Come with me on the bus and we’ll go get some candy together and then I can take you places, come on,” the arrest report stated.

The girls said they didn’t know Fletcher and they were scared when he said, “I want to give you a hug. Come here and give me a hug,” detectives said.

The girls’ parents didn’t know him either.

During the booking process, sheriff’s deputies overheard Fletcher say he just wanted to have sexual contact with the girls, the report stated.

 

Florida Man Tried to Circumcise Nephew with a Kitchen Knife February 3, 2015

A Florida man was arrested on Saturday night after he allegedly tried to circumcise his 20-month-old nephew with a kitchen knife.

larry-leroy-floyd-435Larry Leroy Floyd, 24, of Ocala was charged with domestic aggravated battery, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Police say the young boy’s father had gone out to the grocery store and left his son in the care of his two brothers-in-law, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

When the father returned, he found his son bleeding. Floyd reportedly told him he had circumcised the child, authorities say.

The father immediately rushed his son to the hospital. Meanwhile, officers picked up Floyd. He remained in jail as of Monday morning, according to theStar-Banner.

The 24-year-old has a history of arrests, including domestic violence, armed robbery and drug possession, the Sentinel reports.

The boy’s condition is not known.

 

Mom slams on brakes of car to stop children from arguing; arrested for child abuse February 2, 2015

According to Port St. Lucie police, Lorena Sullivan Simpson told police she was trying to stop her children from arguing.

Mugshot-Lorena-Sullivan-SimpsonPolice said Simpson was driving with her 12-year-old daughter in the front seat. Her 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter were in the back seat when she told them to stop arguing and slammed on the brakes.

“I didn’t on purpose or intentionally harm my daughter,” said Sullivan Simpson.

806B00D17D6C4ACFA067EB86BAF94011-jpgAccording to the investigation, the girl in the front seat was not wearing a seat belt and went head first into the windshield.

Police said the windshield was cracked and Simpson didn’t take her daughter to get medical attention after having a headache and feeling dizzy.

Simpson explained she had no idea anything was wrong until officials from the Department of Children and Families showed up with police three days later.

“There was no bump, so I’m sorry but I guess I did the wrong thing,” said Simpson.

Simpson was arrested on charges of child abuse and was booked in the St. Lucie County jail.

She’s out on bond.

 

Kids jump out of car, report mom for DUI January 22, 2015

A 45-year-old mother in Gainesville faces child neglect and drug charges after four children said they jumped out of the car she was driving because she was drunk, according to the Gainesville Police Department.

sfl-flduh-kids-mom-dui-20150121-001Angela R. Woodworth was arrested Tuesday and charged with four felony counts of child neglect, marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting an officer without violence.

According to police, four 11-year-old children — Woodworth’s son and three of his friends — entered a Steak ‘n Shake at 3714 SW 42nd St. claiming Woodworth was drunk and in fear they jumped out of the car she was driving.

“It was like a little girl screaming for help,” said Kenisha Drayton, who witnessed the incident. “We really didn’t see what was going on, but all we heard was someone screaming.”

Josh Kramer said he helped the kids — two boys and two girls — at the Steak ‘N Shake. He was there eating when the children ran inside.

“One of the boys told me his mom, they just left Ruby Tuesday, and his mom was really drunk and swerving all over the road,” Kramer said. “She hit a pole and broke a mirror off her car. They came to a stop. When they came to a stop, the kids jumped out of the car and ran into the restaurant.”

Kramer said he immediately called 911 and while he was on the phone with a dispatcher, Woodworth showed up and was screaming at the children, telling them to come with her.

“The kids took off running around the restaurant. She started following them around the restaurant,” Kramer said. “I finally got them back up front and told them to stay on the sidewalk, police would be here in a second and they didn’t need to be scared. I was helping them out.”

Police said when an officer arrived at the restaurant, the children ran to the officer for safety.

“They were not in a parking space, so we could only assume that her driving was so bad at that point that she couldn’t even make it into the parking space,” GPD Officer Ben Tobias said. “We are very glad that the children were not hurt.”

Police said the children told them that during the day Woodworth drove them from their home in Interlachen to Gainesville, where they went to several locations, including a Chinese restaurant, a bowling alley — where Woodworth drank two pitchers of beer — and Ruby Tuesday, where she had four drinks. Police confirmed the purchase of the drinks with charge receipts. The children said they roamed the mall unsupervised while Woodworth was at Ruby Tuesday.

Officers said Woodworth refused to comply with them and interfered with the investigation when they first made contact with her. They also said she showed signs of extreme impairment.

Police said a search of Woodworth’s vehicle revealed about 2 grams of marijuana and a marijuana pipe under the driver’s seat.

Woodworth was arrested and officers notified the Department of Children and Families. Police said Woodworth’s son is with relatives and the boy’s three friends were returned to their parents.

“Hopefully she gets the help that she needs and the punishment that she deserves to put somebody’s kids and her own kids behind that kind of dangerous situation right there,” said Travis Smith, who witnessed the incident. “I’ll pray for her.”

 

Walter Johnson, 60, Accused Of Getting 12-Year-Old Pregnant January 15, 2015

A 60 year-old man has been arrested and accused of getting a 12-year-old Jacksonville girl pregnant.

Walter-JohnsonAction News is speaking to that young girl’s family. To protect that girl, we’re concealing the faces of family members, who tell us they have a hard time believing what happened in their home.

Behind bars is 60-year-old Walter Johnson, accused of getting a 12-year-old girl pregnant. Johnson is charged with three counts of sexual battery. We spoke with a woman who says that young girl is her relative.

“She’s nothing but 12 years old, she’s just a baby herself, it’s really hard,” that woman said.

The family said they’ve known Johnson for over 40 years. He even lived with the girl in a house in 2011 and 2012. The relative said Johnson moved out but was helping watch the girl in May. That’s when she believes he had sex with her.

“You never know who you have in your household,” the relative said.

“He was a good guy … But there is hidden secrets,” another relative said.

The family said they found out the girl was pregnant after a medical test on New Year’s Eve. Police were then contacted and Johnson was arrested.

“If it’s a child out there that’s listening, if anybody touches, please don’t be afraid to tell, tell somebody, tell somebody,” the girl’s secont relative we spoke with said.

The family said they will keep the baby.

“We going to love the baby, yeah … cause we a loving family,” the girl’s first relative we spoke with said.

Johnson is in custody at the Duval County Jail. Bond is set at $1.5 million.

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Children and Families confirms they are investigating and providing the child with counseling resources.

 

 
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