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.


Two injured in shooting at the ironically named Fun Spot February 23, 2015

funspotA shooting at a local theme park Saturday night left two people injured with gunshot wounds, according to Orlando police and fire officials.

The shooting happened around 8:30 p.m. at Fun Spot America on Del Verde Way, Orlando police Lt. Miguel Garcia said.

An adult male was shot in the shoulder and a teenager was shot in the foot, said Keith Maddox, assistant fire chief.

Both victims were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

Initial reports from witnesses indicate a man was running through the park shooting at people, Maddox said.

Based on descriptions provided by witnesses, officers were able to find the 21-year-old gunman, who then fled on foot, Garcia said. Officers captured the suspect after a brief foot pursuit.

Jamal Dion Lafortune was arrested on aggravated battery with a firearm, possession of a firearm/ammo by convicted felon, discharging a firearm in public and resisting an officer without violence charges.


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.


Rapping man hit with tricycle in dreadlock donnybrook February 9, 2015

A woman accused of pulling her child’s father’s dreadlocks and hitting him with a tricycle wound up behind bars in what could be called a hairy situation, an affidavit states.

josaphat-clindaJosaphat said the child’s father, identified by police as the victim, said that since she was not being intimate with him, he was “getting it” elsewhere.Clinda Josaphat, 20, told Fort Pierce police Jan. 19 she was doing her child’s father’s hair while he was rapping.

Josaphat said she told him she could not have sex on doctor’s orders. She said he picked her up and threw her on a trashcan.

The victim said Josaphat was doing his hair as they talked about their unborn child. He said the altercation started when he said he didn’t want to be in her life but did want to be in his child’s life.

Josaphat “kept twisting his dreads tighter and tighter,” eventually hitting him with a tricycle.

A witness said Josaphat “was all over (the victim) pulling his dreads and biting him.” The witness said Josaphat tried to hit him with a tricycle and a rake.

The victim had welts on his head from the hair pulling and a bite mark on the back.

Josaphat, of the 600 block of North 23rd Street in Fort Pierce, was arrested on a battery charge.


Man accused of trying to carjack deputy February 3, 2015

Deputies early Saturday arrested a Palm Harbor man they say repeatedly struck a deputy and tried to carjack his patrol car before finally being subdued.

1422744822807Zane Thomas Gavin, 23, was arrested after being hit with a stun gun twice, running from the patrol car and fighting with backup deputies, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said. Gavin was charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, attempted carjacking and aggravated battery.

Veteran deputy Richard Tipton suffered a broke tail bone and injuries to his left ear and lower lip. And a woman who tried to help him suffered a non-life-threatening head injury. Both were taken to area hospitals – as was Gavin.

Deputies say the incident happened around 4:25 a.m. after Tipton, while on patrol eastbound on Alderman Road near Westlake Boulevard, saw a man later identified as Gaven running from the south side of the road into the path of a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban.

The driver of the Suburban, 59-year-old Sharon Scroggins, stopped abruptly and then backed up and changed lanes before stopping again.

“We just turned not too far down the road and this big huge guy with no shirt on, literally just his hands up and like he was diving, he went right in front of my car,” Scroggins said. “I stopped and my dad said back up.”

As Tipton came closer, he saw Gavin lying on his back in the road and believed he had been struck by the Suburban. Tipton turned on his emergency lights and reported what he had seen over the radio.

But before he could get out of his car, Gavin had risen to his feet.

As Tipton approached Gavin to check his condition, Gavin punched him on the left side of his head without warning, deputies say. Gavin then struck the deputy several more times, breaking his eyeglasses and knocking him backward to the ground, according to the incident report.

Scroggins got out of the Suburban to assist Tipton and was injured herself, deputies say.

“That gentleman was coming toward him and I remember the officer went down,” Scroggins said.

Deputies say Gavin then got into Tipton’s cruiser and revved the engine as he attempted to put it in gear. Tipton, still dazed from the blows to his head, was able to get up, call for back-up, open the driver’s door to the cruiser and use his stun on Gaven with no effect.

Tipton used his stun gun a second time, again with no apparent effect, deputies say. But Gavin got out of the car and ran north across the median, where he fell.

Investigators say Gavin continued to fight with backup deputies who arrived to take him into custody.

Scroggins had been driving wth her father, who was not injured.


Man accused of attack with lumber over ‘possible infidelity’ January 20, 2015

A man will be in court Feb. 17 on the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.

james-marcus-owensDeputies responded to a Laurel Hill residence late Dec. 30 after a 31-year-old man allegedly attacked his uncle over his belief that his wife had cheated on him with his cousin.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the residence around 9:30 p.m. by James Marcus Owens’ mother, according to the arrest report.

She reported that Owens and his uncle were in a verbal argument about “possible infidelity” between Owens’ wife and cousin.

He told his mother that he was “going to confront and beat up his cousin,” the report said.

Owens then went to the barn where his uncle was residing and “attempted to attack him with a 2X4 piece of lumber,” swinging the wood at his uncle “several times.”


Sex revelation by ‘spiritual’ girlfriend blamed for rampage December 30, 2014

A Sebastian man told deputies he trashed his girlfriend’s car because he “snapped” when his “spiritual” girlfriend told him his dead grandmother would appear in his dreams and commit unusual sex acts involving him and an adult toy.

casey-molter-mugInvestigators about 7:45 a.m. Nov. 24 went to an address in the 9700 block of 85th Street in Vero Beach where Molter and his girlfriend had been living for a few weeks.The damage that Casey Molter, 28, is accused of causing to his girlfriend’s 1997 Nissan Altima appeared to be the culmination of issues between the two, according to Indian River County Sheriff’s records.

They explained that law enforcement officials were called earlier in the morning when they got in a physical altercation. During the fight, Molter damaged the girlfriend’s Nissan and smashed her cell phone. In this earlier incident, the girlfriend said she wanted to press charges against Molter for damaging the Nissan and phone.

She left the scene and returned later to find additional damage, including a broken passenger side mirror, deflated tires, a used prophylactic, and “love notes” on the hood and windshield.
When a deputy questioned Molter, he said his girlfriend is a “‘spiritual person’ and can tell a person about their dreams.”

Molter said his girlfriend told him his dead grandmother was going to appear in his dreams and “‘(commit an unusual sex act to him involving an adult erotic device)’,” a report states.

“Molter stated that he could not get the image out of his head and he snapped,” the report states.

That, he said, is when he took actions including letting the air out of the tires and throwing the creams and lotions.

Molter, of the 200 block of Caravan Terrace in Sebastian, was arrested on a criminal mischief charge.



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