The Bizarre World of Florida

Man sets home ablaze after niece refused booze run March 2, 2015

After being spurned by his niece for a ride to the liquor store, a Boynton Beach man decided he should burn something: his house, according to authorities.

fireOn Dec. 14, Clemons — who had already been drinking — asked his niece for a ride to the liquor store, according to a report from the agency. She told investigators she told him “No” and they got into an argument. To avoid further confrontation, the woman said she left the house.

Not long afterward, Clemons’ brother arrived at the house. He told investigators Clemons was standing out on the porch mumbling to himself about being “tired of it all,” according to the report.

His brother started making dinner and went out to see if Clemons was OK. Then, he saw a huge flame burning at the northeast corner of the house.
Clemons’ brother was able to extinguish the fire with a hose. Officials said the structural damage was minimal, but a garbage container and an all-terrain vehicle were slightly damaged.

Boynton Beach fire officials later found Clemons walking down the street with a large burn on his forearm.

Investigators determined Clemons poured gasoline against the wall outside and on the all-terrain vehicle and lit the fire while his brother was inside.

Clemons had left the hospital before Boynton Beach police were able to detain him.

He is charged with arson and is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail without bail.


Man tried to rob ex-girlfriend in sheriff’s parking lot February 26, 2015

A 25-year old man started following his ex-girlfriend in a vehicle Tuesday morning and tried to rob her when she pulled into the sheriff’s office parking lot, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

imagesEugene Williams began following his 23-year-old ex-girlfriend in his vehicle around 10:45 a.m., and the woman drove into the sheriff’s office parking lot for help, deputies said.

Williams blocked her before she could exit the vehicle, pushing and hitting the vehicle and demanding money from the woman, according to a release.

Deputies came out into the parking lot and heard the suspect demanding money from the victim. They arrested Williams, who tried to resist, deputies said.

Williams was charged with attempted robbery and taken to the Manatee County jail.


Mom got slugged at high school baseball game February 19, 2015

photo_1424293902710_13437250_ver1.0_640_480Sonya Heiser just wanted to watch her son’s baseball game Tuesday night.

But she got slugged in the face instead, police say, and they took her mother-in-law, Sharon H. Heiser, 69, of Naples, into custody and charged her with battery.

The incident happened at about 8 p.m. at Naples High School.

Sonya Heiser told officers that Sharon Heiser, struck her on the right side of the cheek using her right hand, with an open fist. The report said Sharon Heiser was trying to intervene in an argument Sonya Heiser was having with her husband, Richard, Sharon Heiser’s son.

According to the report, Sharon Heiser declined striking her daughter-in-law. The other family members who were at the baseball game backed up her story.

But another witness told police that Sharon Heiser struck Sonya Heiser while the latter was trying to leave the bleachers to avoid an argument.


Udderly Stupid … Moo juice feud lands woman in cooler February 18, 2015

A woman accused of tossing chocolate milk on her live-in boyfriend did not end up in the land of milk and honey.

linda_vines_mugVines’ 52-year-old boyfriend told Martin County Sheriff’s deputies that Vines woke from a nap and started screaming at him.Instead, Linda Vines, 41, was arrested and thrown in the Martin County jail after the Jan. 30 incident, records state.

“She threw her glass of chocolate milk at him and punched him repeatedly in the face,” a report states.

He said Vines begged him to stop calling the authorities, saying she’d blame him for a crack pipe she hid in the residence.

He said she took off through the back door after the incident that didn’t exemplify the milk of human kindness.

Investigators saw chocolate milk, which is milk flavored with chocolate, on the boyfriend’s head and shorts. It also was spilled on his couch, floor and coffee table.

Records did not indicate whether anyone cried over the spilled milk. It also wasn’t specified whether the situation was milked for more than it was worth.

Deputies arrested Vines, of the 4400 block of Southeast Hamilton Lane in Stuart, on a battery charge.


Woman crashed stolen car, claimed driver ran away February 16, 2015

A woman fleeing from police in a stolen car crashed into a stop sign, got out and then told officers she wasn’t the one behind the wheel, according to an arrest report.

CarPalm Springs police said they spotted a driver in a stolen car just before 1 a.m. Thursday in the 300 block of Royal Poinciana Way. An officer turned on his lights and followed the car, but he lost sight of the car when it went down various side streets, according to the report.

After turning a corner, the officer spotted the car — which had crashed into a stop sign — and a woman, later identified as Gwynne Staples standing behind a tree nearby.

Staples, 31, told officers the male driver of the car had fled on foot, according to the report. She said the two had met at the Breakers Hotel in West Palm Beach and had left together in the man’s car.

But security footage and a valet at the Breakers told a different story: Staples was the only one who had gotten into the car that night and was, in fact, the driver, according to the report.

She is charged with grand theft auto, fleeing and eluding and resisting an officer without violence. Police also found drug paraphernalia on Staples.

She is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on $8,000 bail.


Crabby dude threatens crustacean attack February 12, 2015

Deputies put the pinch on a man accused of threatening to konk his girlfriend with crab legs but who ended up hitting her in the face, sheriff’s records state.

salvatore_nofi_mugShe said her boyfriend, Salvatore Nofi, 39, was drinking vodka and being obnoxious. She asked him to be quiet.Martin County Sheriff’s deputies Jan. 26 went to a Publix in Stuart and spoke to a 31-year-old woman identified as the victim.She said she went in Publix to pick up some crab legs, which are the legs of a crab.

“When she picked up the crab legs S. Nofi stated he would, ‘knock me over the head with them,’” an affidavit states.

She told Nofi to button his lip, and he hit her in the face.

She said they then both exchanged blows.

Nofi, who had a cut nose and bleeding lip, told investigators the situation was embarrassing and to watch the surveillance video.

Nofi, of the 3500 block of Southeast Dixie Highway in Stuart, was arrested on a battery charge in connection with the incident.

He also was arrested on an outstanding violation of probation warrant.


Neighbors irked after man builds gun range in his yard February 5, 2015

6599793_GThe Lakewood Estates neighborhood is filled with families and children. On any given day, you’ll see kids climbing trees and playing on swing sets.

That’s why news of a residential gun range did not sit well with neighbors.

“I don’t know if this idiot is going to start popping off rounds,” said Patrick Leary. “I’m furious.”

Moms and dads are extremely upset after their 21-year-old neighbor, Joseph Carannante, told them he built a homemade gun range.

6599524_G“I don’t want to hurt myself or any neighbors. I don’t want to hurt anybody. I just want to use this as my enjoyment,” Carannante told News Channel 8. “I don’t want to have to go to a gun range, when I can just go outside my door.”

Carannante wants to fire his 9mm in his St. Petersburg yard, which happens to be just feet away from children. According to St. Petersburg Police, legally he’s allowed to do it.

“I wouldn’t have done all this if I didn’t know the reaction,” Carannante told us, who claims he has all the proper paperwork for his weapon.

He says he will inform neighbors when he intends to fire his gun, which he hopes to do every other weekend.

Residents tell us that’s not good enough.

Leary added, “You heard him say, I’ll tell the neighbors when I’m getting ready to fire. What, do we gather our children and hide? Ridiculous. C’mon.”

Another parent, Kendra O’Connor, promises she will fight this every step of the way.

”I don’t consider it responsible, I don’t consider it reasonable. He’s asking me to go inside my house, go to the other side of the house, as he’s informing me he’ll fire his weapon,” she said.

Neighbors tell 8 On Your Side they feel as though they’re being held hostage by this 21-year-old, who they claim is putting everyone’s lives at risk.

In fact, residents have enlisted the help of their neighbor, County Commissioner Ken Welch.

“Even to the most pro-gun person, to have a gun range in the middle of a residential neighborhood doesn’t make any sense at all. I’m hoping we can get to some common ground and common sense,” Welch told 8 on your side Sunday night.

Welch has already made calls to the St. Petersburg Police Department and the city attorney. He plans to look into the issue.

“People don’t want this near their homes,” he said.

Meanwhile, police admit they’ve been to Carannante’s home and that he is obeying the law. They tell us they will “monitor the situation closely.”



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