It’s no wonder the strangest headlines come from Florida. Every year, “America’s wang” tops the news with another ridiculous story that makes other Americans question, “Should Florida still be part of the US?” If it weren’t for Disney World’s Epcot and the Harry Potter theme park, the US might have kept the “Sunshine State” a secret. After reading this list of weird things that happened in Florida in 2017, you will totally understand why.
In addition to topping crime charts ranked by state, Florida consistently provides the most bizarre yet hilarious news. Maybe they put something in the water down at the Everglades because these strange events are definitely caused by abnormal people. Crazy and funny are just understatements for these WTF things that happened in Florida this year.
Opossum Breaks Into A Liquor Store And Gets Drunk
On November 24, an opossum broke into a liquor store in Fort Walton Beach, FL. The owner described the scene that greeted him when he came inside:
“She came in from the outside and was up in the rafters, and when she came through she knocked a bottle of liquor off the shelf… When she got down on the floor she drank the whole damn bottle.”
The animal’s drink of choice? A 750ml bottle of Courvoisier cognac. The opossum was captured by a police officer, who took her to Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. She was given plenty of fluids and released back into the wild a few days later.
Horseback Rider Receives A DUI
On November 2, 53-year-old Donna Byrne was arrested while riding her horse down a road in Lakeland. Someone had called the authorities, saying she looked like she was confused. Arriving officers gave Byrne a breathalyzer, and she was found to be drunk. Bryne was charged with a DUI and animal neglect.
Miami Lawyer's Pants Caught On Fire While Defending A Client Accused Of Arson
Stephen Gutierrez was in a Miami-Dade courtroom defending his client – accused of arson – when all of a sudden he started feeling the heat.
No, literally, he felt heat. That’s because the electronic cigarette batteries in his back pocket suddenly ignited, setting his pants ablaze. While some accused Gutierrez of staging the situation – and even more joked about how all lawyers are “liars, liars, pants on fire” – he said he sincerely didn’t know electronic cigarette batteries could combust.
Luckily Gutierrez was able to rush to a bathroom, throw the batteries in the sink, and return to court – just with one less pant’s pocket.
Miami 'Robin Hood' Kidnaps Uber Driver, Robs A Bank, Gives Out Cash On Street
Buckle in – this story has multiple elements of surprise.
An unidentified man in Miami hailed an Uber on January 9. Not a strange event by itself, right? He then forced his Uber driver to help him rob a bank. And then the Uber driver, called Mikebilly So-Focused, broadcasted it on Facebook Live. And that’s not even the craziest part. The man – dressed in a suit and tie – took the cash he stole from a South Beach credit union and started handing it out to people on the street, all while Mikebilly kept filming.
“I’m going to surrender once I give away this money to people who are poor, then I’ll surrender,” the man said on the video. Why was he so riled up? He explains: “I want people to listen to me and for them to stop lying to us. They’re lying to us. They’re telling us that Russia hacked the election and they’re trying to start a war.”
Naturally he finished his crime spree by calling in a bomb threat.
Deputy Defrauds Elderly Woman Before Stealing Her Dog And Trying To Kill Her
A Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested after he cashed fraudulent checks he stole from an elderly woman’s account – totaling $65,000 – and then tried to kill her when she confronted him about the theft. As she lay dying he stole her dog and sold it on Craigslist. Talk about adding insult to injury.
Thankfully the woman was transported to a hospital where she recovered. Deputy Frankie Bybee, 46, forced the woman to take an overdose of pills and staged the scene to look like a suicide. He is charged with attempted murder among other things.
Good Samaritan Helps Reunite A Child With Her Parents, Gets Beat Up By Her Dad
A Good Samaritan in Lakeland, FL, almost immediately regretted doing his good deed after he got beat up pretty badly. A man was at a sports complex when he saw a two-year-old girl wandering around by herself. He approached the girl and realized she was lost. Together they walked over to the playground to find her parents, but when one of the adults the parents were with saw the man, they thought he was up to something much more nefarious.
They thought he was kidnapping the girl, so they ganged up on him from behind. They knocked him to the ground, started kicking him, and beating him. Only after he endured a severe thrashing did anyone realize he was actually trying to do something nice. A Woman Twerked On Top Of A Car Going Down The Road
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) March 14, 2017If you gotta twerk, you gotta twerk – regardless of what you’re doing at the time. For one Florida woman, the fact she was a passenger in a car driving down the highway wasn’t going to stand in her way. The woman was caught on video twerking on top of a car with a picturesque Miami sunset behind her.
While this is probably illegal, the Miami New Times points out there is a loophole in the law allowing performers to ride on top of cars in specific circumstances. The woman hasn’t been identified. Regardless of who she is, one thing is for certain, her cinematic masterpiece and exceptional dance moves will forever live on the Internet.
Man Steals Beanee Weenee Cans, Blames 'Inner Thug' For Theft
Tommy Barber didn’t choose the thug life – the thug life chose him. At least, that’s what he told St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputies after he stole multiple cans of Beanee Weenee, a delectable treat of beans that can be found at many locations for approximately $2.50.
Barber, a North Carolina native, was arrested in St. Lucie County on a misdeamenor charge for the theft, which totalled $8.77. When asked why he stole the cans, he said he wasn’t hungry.
“It’s just the thug in me,” he told investigators.
Argument Over Showering Results In Shooting
A Central Florida couple was arrested after a confrontation about their hygiene habits – specifically who was showering with who – turned violent.
James Rainville, 27, and his girlfriend Angela Toole, 36, got into an argument with their roommate about their shower arrangement. Apparently Toole and another woman at the home had showered together, upsetting their roommate who then demanded Toole and Rainville leave. Instead of packing their things and finding another shower to populate, Rainville got his gun and shot their roommate in the leg.
The moral of the story: before you shower with someone, make sure it’s cool with everyone in the house.
Hungry Burglar Takes Bite Of Pizza, Leaves Behind DNA, Is Arrested
Jamar Mackey didn’t take his mother’s advice to finish whatever’s on your plate.
After getting hungry during a home burglary in Stuart, FL, Mackey took a bite from a piece of pizza on the counter before throwing it in the trash. Investigators noticed it, took a DNA sample, and matched to Mackey. He was arrested in January.
Man Fails To Electrocute His Pregnant Wife With A Rigged Door
Palm Coast resident Michael Wilson was arrested in late December after he attempted to electrocute his estranged pregnant wife. He had attached electrical devices to the door of their house; if the woman had put a key in the lock and grabbed the handle, she could have died from the resulting shock.
However, her stepfather became suspicious after the woman told him Wilson had warned her not to let a child touch the door. He examined the house, and noticed the word “Hi” and two eyes drawn in lipstick on the back entrance. The stepfather called the police, who discovered the rigging.
Wilson was charged with two counts of attempted aggravated battery on a pregnant person and one count of grand theft of a firearm.
After Cops Find Gun In His Car, Student Reveals He's A Drug Dealer
Thing’s might’ve gone better for 18-year-old Cole Gamble if he’d just kept his mouth shut.
The Palm Beach State College student was pulled over on January 9 in Boca Raton. Police discovered marijuana, plastic baggies, a bong, and a gun in his car. When asked what the gun was for, Gamble had a simple explanation: He’s a drug dealer, and it’s a dangerous business.
After telling cops the gun was for protection, he went on to detail his business to cops. On a good night, he told them according to the Palm Beach Post, he can make $1,000. Well, he used to, anyway.
Brawl Outside A Florida Grocery Store Breaks Out After Brothers Try Stealing Girl Scout Cookies
Of all the people to attack, it probably wasn’t wise for these Florida brothers to target a pack of Girl Scouts.
Daniel Kennedy, 18, and his unidentified 16-year-old brother were arrested in February after the two attacked family members of a Girl Scout selling cookies outside a Walmart. The argument started after the Kennedy’s confronted one of the family members over a $20 debt. When the family member couldn’t pay up, they demanded to be paid in cookies.
But when they refused again, things got physical and the cookies went flying. According to eyewitnesses, there were cookies strewn everywhere in the aftermath.
A McDonald's Customer Attacked An Employee Over A Broken Ice Cream Machine
Three irate McDonald’s customers completely lost their mind after they found out the ice cream machine was broken. Instead of just driving away and finding another McDonalds in the Daytona Beach area, they decided to get super pissed and attack the employees working. The three female customers jumped over the counter and started pulling the employee’s hair and hitting her. They fled before police arrived.
Man Writes 'Let My People Go' On Courthouse Steps, Is Subsequently Put In Jail
In an ironic series of events, Joshua White was arrested in Sumter County on January 5 after he demanded his “people” go free. White spraypainted “let my people go,” on the steps of the courthouse. Who exactly his people are is unclear to Sumter County Sheriff’s deputies. He was arrested and put in jail. Maybe his message was a premonition of what was yet to come? You decide.
Man Sues Yacht Captain After Music Video Shoot Ends With A Taser
On one very casual afternoon in Miami, Adrian Henriquez and five of his friends chartered a yacht and set out to film their music video. While on board, one of the men lit up a cigar and angered the luxury yacht’s captain. After a few words were exchanged, Henriquez said things got really crazy: the captain pulled out a Taser and shocked – both literally and figuratively – the guests on board.
Captain Robert Nobles was arrested and, unfortunately, the music video was never completed.