The Floridiot Files

Crime Stories

Wheelchair Mayhem

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I think of this story as being kind of like the movie Duel, except the chases happen at 3mph, with an electric whirring sound...

As reported by TCPalm, Harry Lee Gray, left, of Ft. Pierce has been arrested on misdemeanor battery and criminal mischief charges after a bicyclist reported to police that Gray had chased her around a parking lot with his electric wheelchair on three consecutive days, crashing into her. Once he picked up the bike and slammed it to the ground, according to eyewitnesses.

No motive for the attacks was given, but the police report notes that Gray appeared to be intoxicated at the time of arrest.

Bible Study Brawl

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According to this story from WJHG, Heidi Rhodes, left, was arrested after a women's Bible study meeting turned ugly. Deputies responded to a fight in progress between Rhodes and another woman. Rhodes' version of the events (which according to deputies was vague, rambling, and inconsistent with witness reports -- and which she was nearly too drunk to tell) was that the other woman attacked her due to a phone call about a dog roaming the neighborhood (huh?).

The alternate version of events, supported by witnesses, is that the other women told Rhodes to leave after Rhodes started to light a marijuana cigarette, leading to an argument and altercation in which Rhodes punched the other woman, giving her a bloody nose.

Nude Sausage Burglar Strikes Retirement Community

A man in Lee county has been charged with breaking into a retirement community's clubhouse and stealing sausage and other items while nude. When residents discovered their sausage missing, they went to surveillance camera footage and discovered this:



It wasn't all bad. One community resident was quoted as saying, "You know, when you get to 55-plus you don't get a whole lot of excitement, so this is great!"

Story here.

Driving with Unbelievable Irony?

According to a FOX 35 Orlando story, the former president of the Gainesville area chapter of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving was arrested for drunk driving, scoring over .23 on a breathalyzer test, almost three times the legal limit.

The Case of the Haunted Sinuses

A group of three teens and two juveniles robbed a central Florida home, stealing electronics, jewelry, and the ashes of a cremated person and two dogs.

Why steal cremated remains? According to the Sheriff's Department:

During the investigation, detectives learned that the ashes were taken because the suspects mistook the ashes for either cocaine or heroin. It was soon discovered that the suspects snorted some of the ashes believing they were snorting cocaine.


Were they already high on something, or just incredibly, incredibly stupid? Your guess is as good as ours.

CNN has the full story

Man blames in-flight masturbation on spilled Tobasco

A Florida man was arrested for exposing himself and possibly masturbating on a flight while sitting next to a 17 year old girl. His excuse? He claims to have spilled Tobasco on his groin and was "massaging" it to deal with the "incredible itch" that resulted.

The police did not buy his explanation.

Read the Police Report at The Smoking Gun

A Heated Argument... Har Har!

A Ft. Lauderdale area women, who admitted being in a "heated verbal argument" with her boyfriend, has been arrested on assault charges for allegedly setting the crotch of his pants on fire while he slept. The man, who reported awakening to a "burning sensation," was unharmed.

(I guess there is no such charge as "trouser arson"?)

Story

Drunk Burglar Held at Gunpoint by 91-year-old Naked Man

The headline pretty much covers it. Full story here.

No Way to Tree-t Family

A Parrish, Florida man who lives with his parents was arrested for throwing a Christmas tree at his father, and then, when the tree missed, trying to use the tree stand as a weapon.

Story

It's Not Even Halloween Yet

The group of armed robbers have been hitting Tampa pawn shops lately seems to have an odd penchant for costumes. The crew has disguised itself with such items as surgical scrubs and masks, and on other occasions has worn child safety seats and beauticians sinks on their heads as masks.

TampaBay.com, which has the story complete with video, poses the question "Whatever happened to ski masks?" It seems pretty obvious why they wouldn't want to wear a hot sweaty mask at the peak of a Florida summer. But why a beautician's sink or a child safety seat? Your guess is as good as ours.

Worst tryst cover story ever?

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In what may be the worst cover story ever for cheating on a spouse, Pastor Wikler Moran-Mora of the International Missionary Society of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement text messaged his wife that he had been kidnapped. She eventually called the cops, who found him with the other woman.

"If your cover story results in a full-scale police manhunt, discovery of the affair, and charges of filing a false police report... you might be a Floridiot."

Story at ABC Action News.

Jailbreak, Floridiot Style

Sylvester Jiles has to be taken to the hospital Tuesday for serious injures and severe blood loss suffered during an attempt to get over fences at the Brevard County Jail. Jiles made it through one barbed wire fence before attempting to scale a larger fence and falling off through three levels of razor wire.

The twist? He was trying to break IN!

Jiles had only been released from the Jail the previous Friday on probation, but claimed he had received death threats and wanted protective custody. Outside the jail he talked to deputies about his desire to be taken into custody, and while waiting for other deputies to arrive to investigate, he is reported to have been acting strangely and erratically. Apparently he became impatient and sprinted off to the fence line, where he began his failed reverse jailbreak attempt.

Surely there are easier and safer ways for a recent parolee to get back in jail?

Story at News4Jax

Nice Try: Avoiding Probation Violation

Problem: only after giving a urine sample at the probation office do you realize that it will test positive for drugs and you’ll be violated back to prison.

Solution: steal a fridge full of urine!

Problem #2: you cut yourself on the window you broke to get in and steal the fridge.

Solution #2: Steal the bloody broken glass too, and the set fire to the shrubs underneath the window do destroy any evidence that might have gotten on them.

Unfortunately for Devin Perry, who cooked up this scheme, there were only so many samples in the fridge and thus a short list of suspects. When police got to his house they found the bloody shards of glass in the trash, so he managed to add arson, destroying evidence, burglary and larceny charges to his probation violation.

Full story from The Gainesville Sun.

Part of a Schmear Campaign?

Yet another case of food as a weapon, though the motive is unknown. A St. Pete woman who was already on probation was charged with battery after hitting a man in the head with a bagel.

Alas there are few details in the story from tampabay.com.

Nice Try: Blame the Cat

Problem: you’ve been charged with possession of child pornography after more than 1000 such images are found on your computer.

Solution: Blame the cat!

According to this Sun Sentinel story, a defendant told detectives he found “strange material downloaded” after his cat jumped on his keyboard while he was out of the room. For 1000 images, that cat must have done a LOT of jumping. No word on wether police have interviewed the cat.

Assault and Beater-y?

In this story from Tampa Bay Online, we learn of an interesting home invasion. Two armed men burst into a Plant City home. One displayed a pistol, while the other held a knife to the resident’s throat and demanded... an egg beater. Yes, an egg beater. From the sounds of the story, not even an electric one. The homeowner apparently decided that all in all he’d rather not risk his life over a kitchen aid and coughed up the beater, but the crooks’ victory was short-lived as they were nabbed less than an hour later.

Plant City residents, if we find out their eventual parole date we’ll be sure to let you know so you can lock up your mixers.

Weight Watchers demonstrator shoplifts cupcakes

What is it with Port St. Lucie and food?

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Hat tip to Fail Blog for this one.

Full story at TCPalm.

Food Attack Crime Wave Spreads!

You’ll remember from this story that city of Port St. Lucie recently had two separate incidents of assaults committed using sandwiches. Well, we’re sorry to report that this crime wave is spreading -- both geographically and in terms of cuisine.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that a Deltona teen has now been charged with domestic battery after hitting his mother with a taco. So please, be careful out there. Remain vigilant against food attacks.

Shoplifter Run Over by Own Getaway Car... Twice!

Regarding this story:

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Authorities are looking for a shoplifter who was run over twice by her getaway car after stealing $1,200 worth of designer purses from a Cape Coral store.

A T.J. Maxx security guard told police she saw a woman stuff six designer Dooney & Bourke purses into her pants Tuesday morning and walk out of the store. [...]

A report says the shoplifter tried to get into the vehicle but fell out and was run over by the car. She then got up and jumped onto the hood of the car. As the car was driving away, the report says the woman fell off and was run over again. On her third attempt, she finally made it into the vehicle.


Maybe the extra padding from all those purses stuffed in her pants prevented serious injury?

BOLO: Overweight Ninja ATM Thief

According to the AP, via the Sun Sentinel, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office is looking for an heavyset, potbellied man who twice tried (and failed) to steal automated teller machines while dressed as a Ninja.

Nice Try: Getting out of a Traffic Stop

Problem: you’re a felon in possession of a gun, driving around on a suspended license, and you’re about to be stopped by police.

Solution: why, just call in an armed robbery a few blocks away, and the police will leave to answer it!

Unfortunately it didn’t work out so well for this guy. Another unit saw him ditch his car (leaving the engine running and his gun behind, under some Cheetos). They found him and eventually connected him with the 911 call, so his ruse only managed to add “Misuse of 911” and “obstruction” to his charges.

Breaking News! Fidel Castro Arrested in Miami!

...for driving on a permanently suspended driver’s license.

Castro was arrested Friday about 1:31 a.m. in a white Ford pickup truck on Southwest 23rd Street and 34th Avenue.


OK, so it’s not that Fidel Castro. This one is only 32 years old, and does not wear a beard or track suit. According to the Herald article:

At least 33 Fidel Castros with different dates of birth have been arrested in Miami-Dade over the decades, jail records show. The charges range from petty theft to cocaine possession to racketeering

Pizza Self Defense

After the recent spree of attacks using food, it’s nice to see food used for self defense:

When a customer pulled a gun on Eric Lopez Devictoria this week, the Pizza Hut deliveryman fought back with the only thing at hand.A large, steaming hot pepperoni pie.Fearing for his life, Devictoria, 40, lobbed the pizza at the armed man who had ordered him inside a Miramar residence in the 1900 block of Acapulco Drive before 1 p.m. Wednesday, police said.


It bought him time to run away and call police, thought at least one shot was fired at him. The robbers were later caught.

Man Steals Hearse During Funeral

Highlights of this story:

  • Man steals a hearse during a funeral
  • Takes it to his house and asks relatives if they want a ride
  • On the way back to the funeral home, gets involved in a police pursuit
  • Drives towards an officer, who shoots him in the leg
  • Returns the car to the funeral home before the service ends
  • He is then arrested

I think getting involved in a police chase and then shot by police while returning a stolen vehicle is what really makes this one classic!

No word on how the funeral proceeded after that (with the addition of a bullet hole in the hearse?)

Cross Dressing Purse Snatcher caught

From TCPalm, a followup to this earlier item:

PORT ST. LUCIE — A cross-dressing robber accused of snatching a 74-year-old woman's purse in St. Lucie West in September before a faux breast popped out of his tube top was arrested Friday as he sat in the Orange County jail, a sergeant said Monday.
[...]
"I started screaming, saying the woman had stolen my purse, and (a witness) said, 'That wasn't a woman,'" Fournier recalled. "I said, 'Are you sure,' and she said 'I'm positive,' she said, 'See what fell out of the top of his blouse.'"

Sandwich Attacks on the Rise

Two different incidents in St. Lucie County of assaults with sandwiches!

The first:

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A man faces a domestic battery charge after allegedly hitting his girlfriend with a sandwich as she was driving.
[...]
He was arrested, jailed and later freed on $7,500 bail.

Police haven't said what type of sandwich was involved.


And the second:

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. —  Police say a Port St. Lucie man was arrested for throwing a sandwich at his girlfriend, the second food attack that sent a man to jail in about a month.
[...]
Rubin admitted to throwing the food but not hitting her. He was arrested Friday and faces a battery charge.Last month, another man was arrested on a battery charge for hitting his girlfriend with a sandwich, knocking her glasses off and nearly causing a traffic crash.

Breast Pump Bandits caught

Police have now caught the two men who stole $15,000 worth of breast pumps to sell on eBay.

The original theft was reported in First Coast News:

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL -- Port St. Lucie, Florida police are looking for two Coral Springs men who they suspect stole more than four dozen breast pumps from a local Babies "R" Us store.

[...]

The fashion police are also investigating

Pay particular attention to the description of the perp in the last paragraph.

From TCPalm:

PORT ST. LUCIE — A cross-dressing robber snatched a 74-year-old woman's purse in St. Lucie West on Tuesday before a faux breast popped out of his tube top, according to a police report released Thursday.

The alleged female-impersonating robber then hopped into a four-door silver getaway car occupied by possibly two other men in drag and sped off, leaving the victim and the faux breast — a water-filled condom in a white gym sock — at the scene.

"We're processing the condom for latent prints," said Officer Robert Vega, police spokesman.

The victim was pushed to the ground and sustained minor injuries in the incident at the Sears on St. Lucie West Boulevard.

Police also recovered two hairs on the sock that might be chest hairs. Investigators are submitting them for DNA analysis.

The assailant wore a short jean skirt, tube top and white flip-flops, weighs 130 to 140 pounds and is of thin build. He sported shoulder-length hair with maroon hair attachments in a dreadlocks style.

A little light driving

MIAMI (CBS4) ― Imagine trying to strap a light pole, at least 30 feet long, to the roof of an Astro mini-van. Now imagine driving through busy downtown Miami traffic with that pole tied to your vehicle. That's exactly what cops say Elio Valerio and a friend did just before they were pulled over.
[...]
He managed to drive all the way from 83rd and Biscayne Boulevard to Northwest 7th Avenue and Northwest 21st Street.


Story with video here. Google Maps says thats about a 5 mile, 15 minute drive through downtown with the stolen street light pole strapped to his minivan!

Not at all suspicious!

Another old one I had noted...

From the "how not to draw attention to yourself" department:

Blood-Soaked Customer Arrested

NAPLES, Florida (AP) -- A man who walked into a Wal-Mart covered in blood and bought garbage bags Friday was charged with murder after authorities found a stabbed body in a trash bin.

Wal-Mart workers called deputies after a blood-soaked man walked into the store and bought some clothes, bandages and trash bags around 4 a.m. He paid with a $100 bill that also appeared to be bloodstained, they said, and drove off in a pickup.



[from a CNN story, link now expired]

Recently cowering naked local addict...

Another oldie but a goodie. This is from an email I sent my Dad & awesome Stepmom a couple years ago when they were planning a trip down. Unfortunately I can no longer find a link to this one, but I swear I really did see this story on local TV news.

Hi guys! Hope you're still planning on coming!

Not to discourage you, but after seeing the following story on last night's news, I thought it would be best to prepare you for a visit to South Florida, where anything and everything happens. If you're familiar with any of our previous work:

  • Assorted Hurricanes
  • New home of OJ Simpson
  • The Elian Gonzales case
  • The 2000 Election
  • Home of several 9/11 hijackers
  • Anthrax attack
Yesterday in Homestead, near Miami, a man who apparently feared he had overdosed on drugs left his house, sprinted three blocks down the street while naked, and burst into an occupied home. He sat on the couch for a few moments while the startled family stared at him. At that point, he apparently became scared, got up and moved the couch, and cowered behind it for a several minutes.

At that point he got up, ran into the kitchen, took a gallon of milk from their fridge, and left the house. He stopped and boarded a "special needs" schoolbus, and forced the driver to take him to the hospital. When they arrived, he ran into the hospital and, still naked and carrying a gallon of milk, hurdled the counter at the admissions desk and demanded to be treated.

I think we've really outdone ourselves with this one. It's hard to even fit all the wackiness into a single headline! "Recently cowering naked local addict hijacks special ed schoolbus with stolen milk jug, demands treatment".

Anyway, hope that didn't scare you off! See you soon! And be prepared!


In the beginning, there was stupid.

I've been noticing for a while that a lot of the "stupid criminals" news stories seem originate in this state. I started cataloging some of these items on my personal blog, but there were so many stories it was taking over, so I decided to start a dedicated blog. Please share any items you find!

To kick things off, two classics from my blog:

First there is this one out of Ocala, FL, where a bank robber used his own personal check, with his name on it, as a robbery note.

Second, and the best I've seen in quite some time, is this story (be sure to watch the video), from Deland, FL where a guy tries to use a dried up palm frond as a weapon to rob a convenience store. Besides the hilarious dialogue, weird gestures (I like the way he shakes his hand "Hey!" when the clerk touches him), putting his shirt over his head like the Bazooka Joe character, and the fact that he is shooed out with a stool, the funniest thing is of course his choice of weapon. Someone pointed out to me that even doing the old "my hand in my jacket pocket is a gun" routine would have worked better, which is a good point. I think it says something about your skills as a robber when you choose to intimidate using a real "weapon" that is less effective than an imaginary one.