The Bizarre World of Florida

Thief thwarted by next-door self-defense studio May 12, 2015

A Wesley Chapel man is accused of trying to steal $15,000 worth of bikes from a local store.

Unfortunately for the alleged thief, he didn’t notice the self-defense studio located next door.

david-menzies-0508“Who would rob a store that has Hammerfist next door and they’re there?” said Bruce McCarthy, co-owner of Kona Swim Bike Run.

According to the Pasco County Sheriff Office, the person who would rob that store is 30-year-old David Menzies.

Investigators said Menzies broke into the bike store Thursday evening. At the time, people were training next door at Hammerfist Krav Maga, a self-defense and jiu-jitsu studio.

“Immediately me and a couple of other guys, we went outside and we did notice the glass and there was some noise going on,” said Jason Carrio, co-owner of Hammerfist Krav Maga.

During those few minutes, deputies say Menzies was next door grabbing clothes and expensive bikes. That’s not all; investigators say he even took a Jeep for a test ride and parked it out back to load up.

When he was out back, Carrio and other instructors ran around to stop him.

“We started yelling to him, you know, ‘Hey, is that your stuff? Are those your bikes? What are you doing?’ ” said Carrio.

Carrio says Menzies kept loading the bikes even after the confrontation. Carrio says he told Menzies he called police. Menzies then said he’d wait in the car.

“I knew as soon as he got into that car he was going to try and take off and the car was running,” Carrio said.

So the self-defense instructor took matters into his own hands and took the suspect out of the car and held onto him with jiu-jitsu moves.

“I just reacted, to be quite honest with you,” he said. “I just reacted. I just felt like this is the right thing to do.”

McCarthy says he recognized Menzies because he checked out the store Wednesday and acted like a customer.

In the end, it was perhaps a big lesson learned for the suspect.

“Clearly he didn’t read or he doesn’t know what Krav Maga and jiu-jitsu is but definitely a bad environment to come and try to break the law,” said Carrio.

Investigators say Menzies admitted to trying to steal the bikes and the Jeep.


Woman, 40, Battered Live-In Beau During Beef Over How To Properly Fry Chicken April 28, 2015

Meet Bahunti Williams.

bahuntiwilliamsAccording to cops, the Florida woman battered her live-in boyfriend during an argument over how she was frying chicken.

Williams, 40, and Christopher Waters were in their Bradenton apartment Sunday evening when the fried chicken dispute turned violent. Seen above, Williams “punched the victim with a closed fist over the left eye causing the skin to split open,” police reported. She also allegedly scratched Waters’s chest.

When cops arrived at the couple’s residence, Waters–who has been with Williams for nine years–said that he did not want to press charges.

Williams was busted for misdemeanor domestic battery and booked into the Manatee County jail, from which she was released yesterday. Williams’s rap sheet includes two prior domestic battery arrests, though neither resulted in a conviction.


Man carrying torch for ex set her car ablaze April 11, 2015

A Lakeland man is facing felony arson charges after being accused of setting his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle on fire inside her garage

fireJames A. Carter, 24, of 808 Florence Ave. N., Lakeland, admitted to investigators he set the fire to exact revenge on former girlfriend Kiera Williams, 24.

On Tuesday, the Winter Haven Police and Fire departments responded to a 3 a.m. call regarding an attached garage on fire at 654 Ave. O SE.

Williams and her parents — Traci and Theodore Williams — were asleep inside the home when they discovered her white Scion engulfed in flames next to her parents’ vehicle, according to a Winter Haven Police Department affidavit.

The Williams family was unhurt during the fire, said police spokeswoman Jamie Brown.

“We thank goodness for that because things could’ve gone a lot worse,” Brown said.

Property and vehicle damage is estimated to be $60,000.

Williams ended a six-year relationship with Carter in January and had obtained a temporary injunction for protection against him.

In the week prior to the car fire, Carter had repeatedly violated the injunction by texting Williams, the police report said. On Saturday, Williams found a burnt area on her front lawn.

After initially denying any involvement, Carter admitted to setting the car fire during an interview Wednesday with Winter Haven detectives about his injunction violations.

According to the affidavit, Carter originally said he placed papers and oil on the Scion’s hood and ignited it. However, Carter changed his statement while being readied for transport to the Polk County Jail.

Carter told detectives he drove from Lakeland to Winter Haven in the early morning hours Tuesday and filled a plastic water bottle with a mixture of water and gasoline. According to the affidavit, his goal was to create a large smoke cloud near the house that would scare Williams and her family.

Instead, the mixture ignited and Carter — unable to hold the bottle — threw it into the garage. He drove back to his Lakeland home and waited for the police to arrest him.

“I let everyone down,” Carter said at the end of his revised statement, according to the affidavit. “My life is over … I am going to prison for a long time.”

Carter has been booked into the Polk County Jail on first-degree felony charges of arson and burglary of a structure with damage. He also faces third-degree felony charges of domestic violence-aggravated stalking after injunction.


Probationer Busted For Trying To Pass Off Gatorade As Urine During Court-Ordered Test March 31, 2015

A Florida woman tried to pass off a mixture of Gatorade and warm water as a urine sample during a recent meeting with her probation officer, according to police reports.

coulombeTabatha Coulombe, 29, was jailed last week in connection with her alleged scheme to game the urine test, which is part of the probation requirements stemming from her 2013 sentencing for felony animal cruelty.

In late-January, Coulombe met with her probation officer and provided a urine specimen. But due to “the abnormal color (blush)” and the “abnormal test result,” the officer questioned Coulombe about the sample’s source.

“Coulombe admitted that she did defraud the test and…removed a plastic pill bottle that was concealed in her vagina,” according to a Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office report. Coulombe’s probation officer subsequently “discovered that the submitted solution was a combination of Gatorade and hot water.”

While police records no not reveal the Gatorade flavor used by Coulombe, it appears likely that she opted for Lemon-Lime or Lemonade (as opposed to Orange, Fruit Punch, or Mango Xtremo).

Three weeks before her attempted Gatorade ruse, Coulombe, seen at left, failed a urine test (amphetamines were detected in a sample she provided).

Coulombe, a Wendy’s employee, is scheduled for an April 12 arraignment on the probation violation charge.


Would-be bank robber was drunk, arrived by cab, and couldn’t pay the cab fare March 26, 2015

B9316747001Z.1_20150326134136_000_GPAAB300M.1-0Stanley Geddie arrived by taxicab and was drunk during an attempted heist of a Tallahassee bank Wednesday afternoon, police say.

The 46-year-old was arrested on charges of robbery, petty theft and resisting an officer after demanding $100,000 from a bank manager at the Capital City Bank on Capital Circle Northwest.

Geddie told the manager he had a .357 handgun, was carrying C4 plastic explosives and “would blow this place up,” court records show.

Police arrived at the bank to find the cab driver, who advised them Geddie was drunk and had not paid his $25.50 fare. The driver told police Geddie said, “I will take care of you when I come out.”

When police made contact with Geddie sitting in the manager’s office, he appeared “very intoxicated and spaced out,” according to court records.

Geddie did not follow officers’ commands and was tased during the incident. Court records say that when police told him he would be shot if he made any sudden movements, he said “well then kill me.” He was arrested without further incident. A search revealed Geddie did not have a firearm or explosives.

In an interview with police, the bank manager said Geddie indicated he also had the bank surrounded while continuing to demand the money.

Tellers alerted police to the robbery after the manager closed his office door with Geddie inside and they became concerned.

While being treated for Taser wounds at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Geddie indicated he had on two pairs of pants so he could remove one after the robbery to appear not to be the suspect.

The cab driver told police he wanted to press charges for the unpaid fare, which resulted in the petty theft charge.


A man was arrested after being found with his head pretty much buried in the sand March 23, 2015

Louis_Pisapia_mugLouis Pisapia, 44, was jailed on disorderly intoxication and resist officer without violence charges after the Feb. 28 incident in the 2900 block of Southeast Delmar Street in Stuart, an arrest affidavit states.

A Martin County sheriff’s investigator went there about 3 a.m. after a “man down/sick person” report.

A deputy saw Pisapia “on his knees with his head and face in a hole in the front yard.”

“It would appear that Louis created the hole with his hands, due to the fact that his hands and body were covered in dirt,” the affidavit states.

“Bury your head in the sand” is an expression meaning to avoid, or not acknowledge, problems, according to The Phrase Finder web site.

The site states the phrase “comes from the supposed habit of ostriches hiding when faced with attack by predators. The story was first recorded by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, who suggested that ostriches hide their heads in bushes. Ostriches don’t hide, either in bushes or sand, although they do sometimes lie on the ground to make themselves inconspicuous. The ‘burying their head in the sand’ myth is likely to have originated from people observing them lowering their heads when feeding. The story also relies on the supposed stupidity of ostriches, and of birds in general. In fact, there’s little to support that either as birds have a significantly larger brain to weight ratio than many other species of animal. The notion is that the supposedly dumb ostrich believes that if it can’t see its attacker then the attacker can’t see it.”

Meanwhile, Pisapia smelled of booze. A deputy asked whether he needed help getting up.

“(Expletive) you, I don’t have to get up,” Pisapia is quoted as yelling.

Pisapia kept yelling obscenities and was arrested.

The affidavit doesn’t state why Pisapia, of the 2200 block of Southeast Federal Highway in Stuart, had his head buried in the sand/hole.


Woman accused of ‘going crazy,’ going after victim with baseball bat March 20, 2015

A 40-year-old woman allegedly went after another woman with a baseball bat after breaking in the victim’s bedroom door in an effort to “talk.”

angie-marie-fanninOkaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a Niceville home on March 6 for a report that a woman was “going crazy,” had swung a baseball bat at a resident and may be armed with a knife, according to the arrest report. When they arrived, they spoke to two victims, as well as Angie Marie Fannin, of Niceville.

Fannin had broken in the female victim’s bedroom door in an effort to “talk” to her, the report said. She then followed the victim to the garage, allegedly swinging an aluminum baseball bat at her and advancing on the victim, who sat down in a chair.

The male victim stopped Fannin and took the bat away, according to the report. Fannin then allegedly struck him in the mouth with her fist, causing a cut on his upper lip.

The female victim told deputies that Fannin believed her boyfriend had been cheating on her with the woman, the report said. The victim said Fannin had become jealous of the friendship between the victim and Fannin’s boyfriend.

Fannin is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and battery.



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