A woman suffered minor injuries last week when a piece of plywood struck the front of her windshield as she was driving on I-95 in Brevard County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
FHP said Rebecca Burgman, 35, was driving north on I-95 behind Jaime Riveira’s pickup truck when the piece of plywood, which had been secured in the bed of the truck, became loose and hit Burgman’s windshield.
Riveira, 51, of Haines City, was ticketed for faulty equipment and failing to secure the load, FHP said.
Police in Ocala, Florida, say they are looking for a woman who allegedly committed arson inside a Macy’s Tuesday morning.
Officers said the woman entered the department store at the Paddock Mall shortly after 10 a.m. and walked around the store for approximately 45 minutes.
Police said at some point the woman set fire to a rack of underwear.
“It was a bunch of smoke rolling out and people were walking – running outside,” said Kortnee Eubanks, who was in the store at the time.
“The [Macy’s] staff believe that they smelled gas, so we’re not sure if she tried to set the fire to other area and this was just the only area where she was successful. She was in the store for some time,” said Ocala Police spokesperson Meghan Shay.
No one was hurt by the flames.
A message on Paddock Mall’s website Tuesday afternoon said Macy’s will be closed for the remainder of the day.
“The safety of our shoppers, retailers and employees is our top priority. We are working closely with the Ocala Police Department as they investigate this incident further,” said the mall’s website.
Surveillance video from police shows a vehicle in which they believe the woman left. It appears to be a dark gray four-door sedan.
Ocala police ask anyone with information to contact them at 352-369-7000.
A Frontier Airlines passenger at Florida's Orlando International Airport was removed from her flight by police Tuesday after she tried to bring her "emotional support" squirrel on board.
The woman refused to get off the Cleveland-bound plane, so the crew called police.
Frontier Airlines officials said the woman noted in her reservation that she was bringing an emotional support animal but did not indicate it was a squirrel.
Rodents, including squirrels, are not allowed on Frontier flights, officials said.
The crew asked the woman to get off the plane, but she allegedly refused. Orlando police were called and asked everyone to deplane so they could deal with the woman.
Officers eventually escorted the passenger off the plane and brought her to the main terminal.
Video shows crowds cheering as she was taken off the plane.
The incident is one of many recent cases involving emotional support animals on planes.
In the last year, all the major airlines have changed their policies for bringing animals into the cabin.
Most airlines require a note from a doctor, advanced notification and the animal’s vaccine records.
Most airlines have also restricted which types of support animals are allowed on board.
Delta, for example, has banned goats, hedgehogs and any animals with horns.
A 26-year-old Florida man was arrested Friday on charges of practicing dentistry without a license, the Leesburg Police Department said.
Investigators said Allen Turner had been making custom molds for dental grills at his home.
Turner told WFTV on Monday that he was unaware that what he was doing was illegal and that he considers himself more of a jeweler.
He said a Florida Department of Health investigator and a police officer visited his home to order him to stop doing the work and he obeyed them.
"I see a lot of people doing it," Turner said. "(I) never figured you need a license for it."
Police said they discovered multiple drills, cutting tools and other equipment at his home.
"I think people make assumptions when things are just cosmetic in nature – that it doesn't necessarily require licensing," Leesburg police Lt. Joe Iozzi said.
Turner said he was fined $1,000 and was arrested several weeks later, once the state attorney's office chose to file charges against him.
He said business had been good thanks to Facebook.
"This is big in the hip-hop industry," Turner said.
He said he would charge customers several hundred dollars apiece, but he has chosen to call it quits.
"I don't want to do it no more, man," Turner said. "I don't want no parts of it. None at all. None at all, man."
Turner was released from the Lake County Jail after paying bail. He has a court hearing scheduled for Oct. 22.
A 3-foot snake washed ashore Tuesday on a Florida beach, surprising beachgoers.
Animal control came and rescued the snake, the Pensacola News Journal reported.
“We walked over and couldn’t believe it," Rhonda Saunders, who was at the beach with her daughters, told the News Journal. "(The snake) was exhausted trying to keep its head above the water. Too tired to get onto the sand."
Saunders believes it was a diamondback rattlesnake. However, Florida Fish and Wildlife officials were unable to identify it through Saunders’ photos, the News Journal reported.
An escaped kangaroo was found Thursday morning in a Florida neighborhood after several days of searching.
Storm, a 4-foot marsupial, escaped from the home of Eric Westergard, where he lived with six other kangaroos.
Westergard, who is permitted to own exotic animals, has raised the 5-year-old kangaroo since he was an infant.
More than a dozen Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers, state troopers and local law enforcement officials, as well as drones and a K-9, were used in the search for Storm.
More details about Storm’s capture were not immediately available.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A Florida Department of Corrections inmate walked away from a work crew Monday morning to get some sweet tea, officials say.
Deputies said Taylor Fender, 23, of Okaloosa County, was serving a five-year prison sentence at the Putnam Corrections Institute before this incident.
According to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, the crew was working at State Road 20 and County Road 315 when Fender strolled away and into a nearby Family Dollar, where he bought some clothes.
According to officials, an "observant resident" saw Fender walk into the store and dialed 911.
Fender allegedly then walked down the road and into Poppi's Restaurant. At the same time, officials said a deputy just so happened to be pulling into the restaurant's parking lot for lunch.
As the deputy entered the restaurant, a warning to be on the lookout for a suspect with Fender's description was released by dispatchers, deputies said.
The Sheriff's Office tweeted that, after ordering and paying for a cup of sweet tea, Fender was arrested and taken into custody.
The sweet tea was reportedly left on the counter of the restaurant.
A Florida woman who claimed she was a “Kardashian” was arrested on a battery charge after a confrontation with a neighbor, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said.
Last week, Crystal Kohler, 35, approached her neighbor and said, “I’m a Kardashian. I’m going to (expletive) you up,” and then pushed the victim with both hands, deputies said.
When deputies asked Kohler why she did it, she said the neighbor was too “nosy,” according to an incident report.
The victim said she has ongoing issues with Kohler, who randomly yells at her for no reason.
Kohler remains in the Marion County Jail on a charge of simple battery.
A man tried to take 11 pounds of marijuana that washed up on a Flagler County beach, but didn’t report it to law enforcement officials, Flagler County sheriff’s deputies said.
“This guy tried to take advantage of a situation and it completely backfired on him,” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly.
According to deputies, witnesses saw Robert Kelley pick up the soaked packages Thursday morning as they washed up on the shore near Jungle Hut Park in Palm Coast.
The person who called 911 told dispatchers Kelley and others were trying to open and take the bags.
Deputies said when they got to the scene, Kelley did not attempt to tell them he found the drugs. When deputies asked him about it, he pointed at his car and said he was holding it for them, investigators said.
When asked why he didn’t call deputies, Kelley said he didn’t alert the Sheriff’s Office because he wasn’t sure if they would come, deputies said.
Deputies said they found a “brick” of marijuana wrapped in plastic in Kelley’s trunk, totaling 11 pounds of marijuana.
Kelley tried to conceal the package by wrapping it in a brown beach towel, deputies said.
Kelley was arrested on possession of marijuana and was held on $2,500 bond.
This was not the first time this week that packages of marijuana washed up on Florida’s shores. Flagler County deputies said a total of 100 pounds of marijuana turned up on the beach in just two days. In Volusia County, deputies said 23 bales of marijuana washed up on the beach Wednesday in Ormond-by-the-Sea.
A Florida woman’s argument with her husband became more heated than usual Monday when she poured hot sauce into his eyes, according to police.
Esmeralda Martinez Lopez, 41, of Lacoochee, is charged with domestic battery, according to Pasco County jail records. She was released Tuesday on bail of $500.
Fox13 in Tampa reported that deputies were called to the couple’s home Monday morning after they began arguing. An arrest affidavit obtained by the news station said that Lopez struck her husband in the face before dousing his eyes with the peppery condiment.
The husband was taken to a hospital for treatment, the news station reported.
Lopez admitted to deputies that she argued with her husband, but denied injuring him, Fox13 said.
A house caught fire after a naked man baked cookies on a George Foreman Grill and left them unattended, according to the Niceville Police Department.
When firefighters arrived at the smoke-filled home on Date Palm Drive, the man answered the door, naked, and said “I’m sorry,” then closed the door, according to an incident report.
When police arrived, the man answered the door and left it open, then walked deeper into the home that had several items on fire, the report said.
Since he showed no signs of caring for his safety, officers removed the man from the house, police said.
“He would have been seriously injured or could have possibly died,” the report stated.
The man admitted to drinking two liters of vodka and smoking marijuana, police said.
Police said he tried to put dry towels on top of the fiery grill, but the towels also caught fire.
The man was not injured.
A man who needed a ride after being discharged from a Florida hospital on Sunday decided to solve his problem by stealing an ambulance, according to multiple reports.
The man, identified as 25-year-old Michael Paul, took the empty Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue ambulance around 6:30 p.m. from Broward Health North, according to WFOR-TV. Deputies told the news station the ambulance had been left running, something rescue workers do regularly to ensure ambulances are cool and ready for patients who might need them.
In a police report obtained by the Herald, investigators said Paul told detectives he “stole a red ambulance because he needed a car.”
He was arrested and charged with grand theft auto, driving with a suspended or revoked license and violating a learner’s permit, jail records show.
A crane toppled onto a home that was undergoing roof repairs in Orlando’s Baldwin Park development.
Video recorded by WFTV’s Skywitness 9 showed that the large crane, which was hauling shingles, had fallen and split the roof of a home on Lower Park Road.
The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
“I’m thinking, I’m glad it’s not my house,” said Eric Sorrensen, who lives in the neighborhood. “I hope they get some tarps up there before the rain comes in – it’s only going to get worse for them.”
No one was home at the time of the incident.
"It just fell," witness Greg Fogleman said. "The cut went through that roof like a hot knife through butter."
The roofing company said a shingle supplier hired the crane to load the new shingles onto the roof, but the supports that secure the crane were not adequately set and one sank into the ground.
The last of four pallets of shingles were being unloaded when the crane toppled, narrowly missing one of the roofers.
"In this neighborhood, there are no driveways," said Trevor Switzer, of Gold Key Roofing. "There's an alleyway in the back, which isn't big enough for a conveyor truck or any other machinery. So the only way to get (the shingles) onto the roof is by crane or handload, which is dangerous."
The homeowner, who has lived at the home for three years, told WFTV that she made arrangements to stay elsewhere. It's unknown how long it will take to repair the home.
It took hours for two additional cranes to remove the fallen crane from the large home.
Firefighters said no one was injured. They said they contacted code enforcement officials.
A structural engineer is expected to evaluate the home Wednesday.
A Florida man is facing charges after he was accused of becoming belligerently drunk earlier this month and giving his 53-year-old girlfriend a “wet willy,” according to court records and reports.
Authorities in St. Lucie County, Florida, arrested Joseph Sireci, 47, after the Aug. 15 incident, court records show. His girlfriend said in a victim statement filed in court that she knew Sireci was drunk when he called her at work to demand that she order him a pizza. When she got home, she found him drunk on her living room floor, she said.
In a police report obtained by the Miami Herald, authorities said that later, when the victim and her daughter decided to leave the home for another, Sireci tagged along. In a victim statement, she said he refused to get out of her vehicle and that he became more drunk while at the house.
She and Sireci argued over the radio volume on their way back to their shared home, the victim said. During the ride, Sireci wet his finger and stuck it in the victim’s ear, giving her a “wet willy,” the Herald reported.
Jail records show Sireci was booked into jail on the night of Aug. 15 on one count of second-degree battery domestic violence.
A man in Florida has an unexpected visitor that will not leave him alone.
Zachary Liberman, of Davie, Florida, said that a monitor lizard has been avoiding capture for four days, The Sun Sentinel reported.
This isn’t one of those small lizards that Floridians are used to coexisting with. This one is about 7 feet long and weighs about 150 pounds.
Liberman said he’s worried about his kids - a 2-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter, despite the fact that monitors don’t usually attack people.
“On Sunday it was right at my back [patio door] window kind of scratching to get inside the house,” Liberman told The Sun Sentinel.
He’s called in trappers, hunting dogs and wildlife officers to catch the lizard, but each has come up empty.
They’ve tried to use bait like dead rodents and chicken hanging from a tree.
It almost was captured when it came to the edge of the garage but then it ran away.
“I had a baseball bat with me that I was tapping on the ground,” Liberman told the newspaper. “He seemed to be following the tapping sound, but then all of the sudden he turned and made for the woods.”
There are no natural predators for the monitor lizards in Florida and are not native to the Sunshine State, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
If captured, the lizard will either be given to a licensed wildlife facility or killed, the FWC said.
Liberman said he wants the lizard to go away so he and his family can get back to normal, The Sun Sentinel reported.
A Florida motorist posted a video Saturday that shows a motorcycle rider steering the bike with his feet — at full speed — on I-95.
The Jacksonville woman said the motorcycle rider passed her, even as her own car was going 60 mph. The rider didn’t have on a shirt or shoes.
The woman said she was driving on I-95 when she saw the man next to her on the bike. She told her son to grab her phone and take the video.
"I passed him and couldn’t believe it, so I slowed down and my son took a short video and a picture of him," the driver said. "I slowed to about 50-60 mph [my son] took the video.
"He looked completely stable on the bike – like he’d done it a million times – not a care in the world. He seemed very confident in his ability."
One Facebook commenter said: “Cool that he can do that, but completely reckless and irresponsible."
Another said: “I wonder how much that would cost him if he gets pulled over. He is putting more than his life in danger, so STUPID.”
A Florida attorney, who specializes in protecting victims of domestic violence, was arrested in Lake County on a domestic violence charge.
Deputies said Barrett Burnette stalked his ex-girlfriend and vandalized her Orange County home and car Tuesday.
Burnette ripped out a flagpole and used it to smash a taillight on the car before he threw the flagpole through a window of the home, an arrest report said.
Investigators said a woman in the home told them she thought Burnette was trying to break in to kill her.
The suspect is also accused of throwing a vodka bottle through a car window.
Deputies said Burnette's ex-girlfriend told them the pair were in an on-again-off-again relationship for 10 years.
The woman said she broke up with him July 2 because he beat her and took her cellphone, the report said.
Investigators said she told them he has been involved in three domestic violence incidents in the last week.
Deputies said Burnette drove to Lake County, where he was arrested.
When WFTV called Burnette's office Wednesday, a woman who answered the phone said he had no comment before hanging up.
Court records show Burnette was previously charged with stalking his ex-girlfriend in 2016.
Records indicated that case was closed, but it is unclear how it was resolved.
A political dispute between two men on Facebook turned violent in Tampa, Florida, when one man shot the other in the thigh and buttocks, police said.
Brian Sebring, 44, shot Alex Stephens, 46, after exchanging threatening messages, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Sebring is a registered Democrat and Stephens is a former felon with no party affiliation, according to the Tampa Bay Times. It is unclear how the two men know each other.
The details of their political conversation have not been confirmed by police, but Sebring told KTRK it was about President Donald Trump.
Investigators said Sebring went to Stephens’ home with a Glock handgun and AR-15 rifle and honked his truck horn, prompting Stephens to “sprint” toward him, WFLA reported.
Sebring fired two shots, hitting Stephens in the right thigh and buttocks, police said.
“I took two steps back, pulled my gun. Shot him in the hip and when he ran, I shot him in the butt,” Sebring said.
Sebring surrendered to police and has been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed firearm, according to WFLA.
Stephens is expected to recover from his injuries.
Brians was released from jail on $9,500 bond.
A Florida man is accused of killing his neighbor with a pickaxe after an argument at an Osceola County apartment, deputies said.
According to an arrest affidavit, suspect Romeo Thielman lived in a studio apartment behind the Kissimmee home of victim, Luis Sola. Neighbors said the two were friends and no one seemed to know what led to the altercation.
Witnesses said they heard the men arguing before Sola collapsed in a driveway.
A neighbor found him bleeding from his head and called 911.
Thielman called 911 and told deputies he hit Sola in the head with a pickaxe, deputies said.
When deputies arrived, Sola could not answer their questions and kept asking for his wife.
He told deputies he threw the pickaxe in the woods before taking off to cool down, according to the affidavit.
According to the report, he said he did it because he was angry that Sola kept going into his home whenever he didn't lock the door.
Deputies said they had responded to Thielman's house earlier the same day over a domestic disturbance involving Thielman and his girlfriend, but it's unclear if the attack on Sola is related.
The death marks the ninth homicide in Osceola County this year, surpassing the first eight months of last year.
Cows helped Sanford officers corral a suspect who was on the 'moove' after crashing a stolen car, officials said.
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office’s helicopter captured the incident on video Sunday night as police were following the vehicle.
Deputies said two suspects crashed a stolen car, bailed out and ran.
And that’s when the cows came home. The video then shows one of the suspects running through a cow pasture as the animals chased and surrounded one of the suspects, who was eventually captured by police.
No other details were released.
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