The Bizarre World of Florida

Man breaks into woman’s apartment, takes her cellphone, snaps a picture of her in the shower, and uploads it to Facebook February 23, 2015

intruder22n-2-webPolice in Altamonte Springs say a man walked into a woman’s apartment, stole her cellphone and took a picture of her while she was in the shower this week.

While police were on scene, the intruder then posted that picture to the victim’s Facebook account, police said.

“Having someone actually in your apartment while you are taking a shower is quite scary honestly,” Altamonte Springs police spokesman Rob Pelton said. “Going to get a victim’s cell phone and having the gall to stand inside of a residence that you have broken into to steal someone’s cell phone and use it to take a picture of them in the shower is unheard of.”

Residents like Sheila Hudgins are taking precautions.

“I keep the blinds closed. I don’t even open them in the day time I keep them closed all day,” Hudgins said. “When they get opened it’s because I’m opening them to go outside.”

Police believe the same man has been spotted masturbating while peering inside residences. Two incidents have been reported in the past week.

The suspect is described as a white male, between 5 feet 6 and 5 feet 9, wearing all dark clothing and blue jeans.

The first incident occurred Feb. 13 at 1:15 a.m. at the Lotus Landing Apartments. The second incident occurred Wednesday at 11 p.m. at the Ashford of Altamonte Springs Apartments.

Residents in apartment complexes south of Sunshine Lane and north of Gateway Drive on the west side of State Road 434 are told to be extra vigilant.

Anyone with information is asked to call to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.


Two injured in shooting at the ironically named Fun Spot

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.


Jason Rios Used Crowbar To Kill His Mother And Niece, Tried Killing Himself With A Drill February 18, 2015

Jason Rios, a paranoid schizophrenic, used a crowbar to beat his family, killing his disabled mother and 9-year-old niece.

Jason-RiosErnesto and Angela Rios were trying to keep their four grandchildren together after they’d been removed from their mother for substance abuse and placed in foster homes.

To makes matters even more difficult, Angela was wheelchair bound after losing her legs to diabetes. Also living in the home was their son, Rios, who family say suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

On the morning of Feb 5, Ernesto woke his four grandchildren, Jenica Randazzo, 9; La’nyla Heater, 7; Chancellor Rios, 4; and Dominic Putnam, 13, for to school and hopped in the shower.

Soon after he entered the bathroom, Ernesto heard screaming. He rushed into his granddaughter’s room only to find La’nyla bloodied with severe head injuries and Jason on top of her with a crowbar. Ernesto was able to take the weapon from his son then forced him outside of the house.

The two boys, who were uninjured, fled down the street to the home of a retired police officer who went to assist the family, while his wife stayed with the children and called 911.

Jason unsuccessfully tried getting back inside the house before barricading himself inside a neighboring, unoccupied home. SWAT was called in and a crisis negotiator attempted to contact Jason but was unsuccessful. Fearing he was armed, SWAT used a BearCat to break through a wall and deployed a flash-bang before entering the house.

Jason was apprehended and led to an armored vehicle where he collapsed and knocked himself unconscious. Police would then notice wounds to Jason’s neck, head and torso which were later found to be caused by a drill bit and an auger. He was taken to the hospital to treat these self inflicted injuries.

Inside the Rios home, responders would find Angela Rios dead. La’nyla Heater was transported to a local hospital but would later die from her injuries. Her sister Jenica Randazzo was also taken to the hospital and is listed in stable condition.

Jason is currently held in Land-O-Lakes jail, charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Brian Bostick, executive director of Eckerd Community Alternatives, said that “there were no indications that could have predicted this tragic outcome” and that caseworkers never knew Jason displayed erratic behavior, or may have drug abuse or diagnosed mental illness issues.

Bostick also stated that Rios passed a criminal background check and that there were “positive reports” of Jason bonding with the children.


Meet The Couple That Was Dumped Into A Garbage Truck And Nearly Crushed To Death February 16, 2015

sirabellajordanA couple sleeping off a night’s partying inside a Florida trash dumpster was emptied into a garbage truck whose driver told a police operator that, “I almost killed both of them.”

According to cops, Lisa Sirabella, 49, and Donald Jordan, 37, were asleep inside a dumpster outside a Wawa market in Tampa when a Progressive Waste Solutions truck pulled up to the business around 5 AM today.

Driver Radmas Valasquez hooked the dumpster up to his truck and emptied its contents–Sirabella and Jordan included–into the vehicle. After driving away, he heard the pair yelling from inside the truck bay and dialed 911.

Sirabella and Jordan, who were not arrested today, are pictured in the above mug shots, which were taken following prior collars.

garbagetruck8“I was picking up some containers,” Valasquez told a police operator. “I got two people, I don’t know how they got in the back of the truck. But they stuck in the truck.” Valasquez noted that he went to compact the trash before realizing that Sirabella and Jordan were inside the truck. “I almost killed both of them,” he said.

Emergency service workers were able to free Sirabella and Jordan from the garbage truck. They were then transported to Tampa General Hospital for treatment of injuries.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies surmised that the duo “likely became intoxicated at the Seminole Hard Rock & Casino” before dozing off in the dumpster. Jordan, who smelled of booze, told cops that the pair was visiting the Tampa area from Kissimmee, a city about 75 miles away.

According to court records in Osceola County (where Kissimmee is located), Sirabella and Jordan have frequently been arrested over the past several years. Sirabella’s rap sheet includes busts for loitering, theft, battery, resisting arrest, and drunk driving. Jordan has been busted for cocaine possession, loitering, trespass, panhandling, drinking in public, battery, and disorderly conduct.


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.


Heroin dealers ran own takeout service at Wendy’s February 12, 2015

1Two men busted outside a Wendy’s restaurant late last week caught the attention of police after an anonymous caller suspected they were “doing drug deals,” Orlando police records show.

People kept walking up to a car in the parking lot on Major Boulevard, knocking on the window, getting in, getting out and leaving, the caller said.

When cops showed up Friday, they noticed a smell of marijuana after asking the driver to roll down the windows. There was also a syringe filled with clear liquid next to some copper mesh on the floor, records show.

“Brillo is commonly used as a filter when loading liquefied narcotics in a syringe for injection,” wrote an officer who asked permission to search the vehicle.

3The driver, Constantine Kotsianidis, responded, “Go ahead and search. I have nothing to hide,” the report stated.

Inside, police found more than an ounce of heroin – enough for about 300 doses, records show. At least 36 people died from heroin overdoses last year in Orange County, 10 more than 2013.

A man in the car’s back seat told police he had just bought four $10 bags of heroin and was a regular customer of Angel Manuel Fontanez, who was sitting in the front seat, records show.

Fontanez, 30, and Kotsianidis, 36, were arrested and charged with trafficking in more than one ounce of heroin. Both had previous drug arrests.

In 2012, Fontanez was arrested by Orlando police with more than one ounce of cocaine, $20,752 in cash and a pair of loaded handguns. He was sentenced to two years of probation.

In 2009, Kotsianidis was charged with possession of about 20 doses of heroin, a syringe and a loaded handgun. And told an Orange County deputy he had a “habit with opiates and painkillers” but was acquitted at trial, court records show.

Fontanez remains jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. Kotsianidis was released on $10,000 bail.


Hit, spit and run? Woman hit, then spat at cyclist

A Naples driver was arrested Tuesday in a November hit-and-run case that left a bicyclist seriously injured. The bicyclist’s family has said the driver cursed and spat at the rider before fleeing.

B9316211184Z.1_20150211115225_000_GPP9U8KA7.1-0Angela Licciardi, 43, was arrested on a warrant for a felony charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving injury. She posted a $5,000 bond and was released later that day, according to records.

Licciardi was the driver of a Honda Accord that struck 25-year-old bicyclist Griffin Shallow on Vanderbilt Beach Road in Naples, according to Florida Highway Patrol. Shallow’s grandfather said the driver cursed and spat at his grandson, who was hospitalized after the crash with multiple fractures, before leaving. Licciardi’s license had been suspended three times since 2009, her Florida driving record shows. Three days before the crash, she was found guilty of speeding at 73 miles per hour in a 45 zone.

Florida Highway Patrol submitted the warrant in November for her arrest and the trooper was recently notified it was ready. Licciardi declined to speak to the arresting trooper, records said.



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