Bizarre news events in Florida

Fiona Willan, ninemsn
2:37pm December 7, 2012
May 28, 2012: Miami police have shot dead a naked man who was chewing on the face of a homeless man.

A Florida man who crashed his car kept driving despite a piece of street sign becoming embedded in his head.

Leslie Richard Newton, 63, was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries this week after police pulled him over and found he was driving with a chunk of metal in his skull.

It is not known if he was aware the road sign was penetrating his head or if he was ignoring the injury, but police believe alcohol may have been involved.

This incident is one of many bizarre stories to emerge from Florida this year.

US website Buzzfeed published a list of news stories in 2011 called "52 Examples Why Florida is Still the Craziest State".

Florida historian Gary Mormino told AOL News last year that Florida had overtaken California as the USA's "new capital of weirdness".

October 09, 2012: A US man has died after eating dozens of cockroaches and worms in a competition to win a pet snake.

"The rationale used to be that America tilted toward the west and all the nuts rolled to California," Professor Mormino was quoted as saying.

"Now, perhaps, there's been a tectonic shift and America tilts toward the southeast."

This year Florida has continued to make global headlines for unusual news events.

Here is a list of some of the more unusual news stories that have emerged from the USA's Sunshine State.

1. 'Cannibal' shot dead for eating homeless man's face

A naked Miami man was shot dead after being found chewing another man's face on a highway off-ramp.

June 04, 2012: A Russian comic dressed as a zombie has caused panic in Florida.

Cyclist Larry Vega witnessed 31-year-old Rudy Eugene chewing the face of the homeless man Ronald Poppo in May and alerted police.

"The guy was like tearing him to pieces with his mouth and I told him to get off," Mr Vega told WSVN.
"But the guy just kept eating the other guy away, like ripping his skin."

2.'Zombie' threatened with gun

A man had a gun pulled on him after pretending to be a zombie on the streets of Miami. Days after the city was put on edge by the violent cannibal attack above, Vitaly Zdorovestskiy decided to dress up as a zombie and chase strangers, covered in blood and making hideous panting noises. The prank backfired when a man pulled out a handgun to defend himself.

3. Zombie man 'arrested over bomb prank'

A Florida man who had a viral hit pretending to be a zombie was arrested after a prank involving a fake bomb went awry.

Vitaly Zdorovetskiy tricked residents of Boca Raton, north of Florida, into believing that he was a hitman carrying explosives in his briefcase.

The prank backfired when a local man became angry after being told it was a stunt, attacking Zdorovetskiy and his cameraman Jonathan Vanegas, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

"He attacked me, my camera guy, he threw me on the floor, he threw my camera guy on the floor," Mr Zdorovetskiy said. "I was just screaming back 'Sorry, I apologise."

 Vanegas spent 20 hours in prison on bomb hoax charges after the bomb squad rushed to defuse the briefcase.

4. Couple arrested over sex on restaurant table

A couple who had sex on a table at a family restaurant in Florida narrowly escaped criminal charges after witnesses refused to provide statements to police.

 The manager of Paddy Murphy's restaurant, Tom Murphy, told police in October he approached Jeremie Calo, 32, and Tiffani Lynn Barganier, 32, as they had sex in the al fresco dining area and asked them to stop.

Calo reportedly told Mr Murphy his girlfriend "can't get up at this time".

He was arrested after allegedly refusing to pay his bill and was pinned down by restaurant employees.

A police report said the parents of young children who watched the couple having sex declined to write witness statements.

5. Woman calls 911 to complain about Burger King

A Florida woman called 911 in a state of distress to complain about poor service she received at Burger King.

A police report claims 24-year-old Tanya Bonner was "extremely upset and crying" when she phoned the emergency operator to report the "crappy service" she received at the fast food restaurant on September 22.

The woman complained she had not received a refund after her order was botched.

Police warned her not to dial 911 for non-emergencies but she escaped without charge.

6. Man 'attacks boyfriend over music taste'

A Florida man accused of attacking his boyfriend allegedly told police he flipped out because his partner will only listen to music by Alanis Morissette. 

Allen Casey, 24, was arrested in October for allegedly hitting 33-year-old Todd Fletcher in the face with a plate.

Mr Fletcher told police his partner attacked him because he was listening to music that he didn't like.

Casey was charged with domestic battery.

7.Man dies after winning cockroach-eating contest

A Florida man who collapsed and died after winning a cockroach-eating contest was later revealed to have choked to death.

Edward Archbold, 32, ate dozens of giant cockroaches as he competed against several other contestants at the competition at a local pet store on October 6.

Archbold felt sick and started vomiting after being declared the winner.

A medical examiner's report a month later found Archbold died after his airways were blocked by the body parts of insects.

8. Topless woman 'led police on high-speed chase'

A Florida woman who led police on a high-speed chase allegedly claimed she did not stop because she was driving topless.

Police tried to pull over Mandy Ramsey, 35, for speeding in June but she allegedly sped away and ran a stop sign.

The police officer lost sight of the truck but it was later spotted parked behind a mobile home.

Police claim Ramsey admitted she had been driving topless and didn't want to be pulled over while half-naked.

The teacher's assistant was reportedly on the way to her boyfriend's house and planned to surprise him.

She was arrested for fleeing police and later released on $5000 bond, the Huffington Post reported.

9. Man 'tried to trade baby for food'

Police in the US were hunting for a man who knocked on doors of a US motel offering to trade a baby boy in exchange for food.

The man was captured on CCTV cameras carrying the boy — believed to be about six to nine months old — over his shoulder as he walked around the Rodeway Inn in Jacksonville, Florida on August 4, news4jax.com reported.

Guests said they were stunned after they answered a knock on their door and were offered the child in return for food. 

Police were unsure if the child had been abducted, but confirmed there had been no reports of missing children made in the area.

10. Woman 'attacked boyfriend over bad sex'

A Florida woman was jailed for attacking her boyfriend because he climaxed during sex and she did not.

Raquel Gonzalez, 24, was charged with domestic battery against her 30-year-old partner Esric Davis in November.

A police report stated Gonzalez began hitting and scratching her partner because she was dissatisfied with their sexual encounter, the Smoking Gun reports.

 

11. Man 'asked 911 operator for sex' 

A man was arrested last month for allegedly calling 911 repeatedly to ask for sex.

Joshua Basso, 29, allegedly made sexual comments to the emergency operator and asked if he could go to her place for sex.

He allegedly phoned back four times after she hung up on him.

He was arrested at his home about 15 minutes later and charged with making a false call.

12. Florida woman arrested for riding manatee

A woman in Florida charged for riding a manatee in Tampa Bay on October 2.

She was charged with violating the Florida Marine Sanctuary Act which protects the state's marine environment.

But police did not arrest the women because local authorities had not caught her riding the endangered animal, news website Complex.com reported.


13. Boys, 4, served alcoholic cocktails at restaurant

A four-year-old boy became intoxicated and was rushed to hospital after a waitress accidentally served him and his young friend alcoholic cocktails.

A Clearwater Police Department report said the boys were eating lunch with their mothers at a restaurant in May when two virgin daiquiris were ordered for their table.

But the waitress incorrectly entered the order and accidentally served the boys alcohol, a police report states.

One of the boys did not drink his cocktail but the other became drunk.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance but was later released.

The waitress was not charged.


14. Man "returned used enemas to pharmacy"

A Jacksonville man was charged with product tampering in October after he allegedly returned used enemas to pharmacy shelves.

Prosecutors said Ronald Eugene Robinson, 34, bought several ready-to-use enemas between April and June, used them, put them back in their boxes, sealed the containers and returned them for refunds.

The used enemas were reshelved and sold to customers.

An investigation was launched in June when a pharmacy employee told the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office that a man who had bought and returned several enemas had tampered with a box.

15. Porn star jailed for sex party murder

A US porn star was jailed for 40 years in May for her role in the murder of a man during a sex party.

Amanda Logue, 30, and her porn actor boyfriend Jason Andrews, 28, planned to have sex after allegedly stabbing a tattoo parlour owner to death and crushing his skull with a sledgehammer in May 2010.

The 41-year-old man, whose body was found lying face-down on a massage table in his home, had hired Logue as a prostitute for the sex party.

Andrews was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder and Logue received a reduced 40-year sentence after pleading guilty.

 

16. Accused drug dealer wears crack recipe to court

An accused drug dealer showed up to court in a jacked emblazoned with a cartoon recipe for cocaine in September.

A lawyer reportedly took a photo of the white coat with images of the ingredients and equipment required to make the drug.

The Associated Press reported the defendant was not punished for his outfit.

His attorney said it wasn't the first time one of his clients had worn drug-themed clothes to court.

17. Teen calls 911 after hearing mother having sex

A 15-year-old Florida girl called 911 and asked to be placed in a Christian children's shelter after hearing her mother having sex.

The teenager told police in January that she felt "disrespected" after overhearing her 35-year-old mother having sex.

An officer visited the home but no further action was taken.

Sources: The Smoking Gun, AOL NewsComplex.com, WSVN, BuzzfeedTampa Bay Times, Huffington Post, Boston Heraldnews4jax.com 

Author: Fiona Willan, Approving editor: Nick Pearson

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