Category: Meanwhile… In Florida

Florida Woman Arrested After Swinging Bag Full of Puppies At Local Bar

A Pompano Beach, Florida woman was taken into custody over the weekend on a disturbing charge after police say she stuffed four puppies into a backpack and allegedly abused them while inside of a bar.

Broward Sheriff’s deputies arrested 27-year-old Teresa Gardner on Sunday morning and charged her with multiple counts, include tormenting animals and resisting arrest.

Gardner was arrested at Briny Irish Pub after she was reportedly seen wildly tossing around a backpack filled with four Chihuahua puppies and their mom, Broward sheriff’s deputies said.

After Gardner stopped, deputies discovered the mother Chihuahua and her puppies trembling inside the bag, according to WSVN-TV. It wasn’t clear where the puppies came from, but officials determined they were about four weeks old, NBC Miami reported.

“It’s hard to understand why she would have animals in a bag like this. They could’ve died, I don’t know why anyone would take puppies to a bar at all, it’s a very bizarre situation,” Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Gina Carter said.

As deputies tried to arrest Gardner, she allegedly told them “no” and moved away.

Gardner was charged with animal cruelty and resisting arrest and was being held on $1,000 bond. The dogs were taken to an unspecified shelter but were in good health, NBC Miami reported.

Florida Woman Busted For Using Drone to Deliver Tobacco to Inmate

INDIANTOWN, FL. – A mother and daughter were arrested this weekend after deputies said they used a drone to deliver mobile phones and tobacco to a prisoner at Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown.

Concetta Didiano, 22, and Cassandra Kerr, 40, both of Tampa, face charges of introducing a communications device into a prison and operating a drone inside critical infrastructure.

According the arrest report, the staff at Martin Correctional Institution noticed the drone hovering above a prison building around 1:30 a.m. Sunday and alerted the Martin County Sheriff’s Department.

A few minutes later, a deputy responded to a crash along nearby Southwest Allapattah Road where a car had collided with the drone, disabling it.

Meanwhile, acting on a tip from prison staffers, another deputy found Didiano and Kerr driving a truck slowly about a mile north of the prison, the report said. Kerr told the deputy that she was teaching her daughter how to drive, the report said.

The deputy pressed the women about the recent drone sighting and Kerr admitted to piloting the device, the report said.

“I did it. The remote and the iPad is the backseat,” Kerr said, according to the report.

Kerr told deputies that she was delivering mobile phones and tobacco to an inmate inside the prison, the report. Didiano drove the truck while Kerr piloted the drone from the back seat, the report said.

Florida Man Arrested After Trying to Pay With Pot at McDonald’s

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL – A Florida man was jailed after he attempted to pay for his McDonald’s drive-thru order with a bag of marijuana.

The Port St. Lucie Police Department said in a Facebook post Monday that a McDonald’s employee contacted them at 2 a.m. saying that a man, later identified as Anthony Andrew Gallagher, was in the drive-thru trying to exchange marijuana for food.

The Associated Press reported that the worker denied Anthony Andrew Gallagher’s offer and he drove off.

“Once on scene police took the description of the suspect and remained in the area,” the department said in the Facebook post. “A short time later, the suspect again went through the drive-thru of samethe McDonald’s.”

An officer approached Gallagher, noticing a strong odor of marijuana from his car.

“Police found approximately 11 grams of marijuana on the suspect,” the department said. “The suspect told police that he did offer marijuana in exchange for food, but that he did so as a joke.”

Gallagher was arrested for possession of marijuana under 20 grams and booked in the St. Lucie County Jail.

It’s unclear if Gallagher attempted to pay for his order with drugs the second time. It’s also unclear if he has a lawyer.

Florida Court Gives Cops the Right to Stand Their Ground

In 2013, Jermaine McBean, a 33-year-old information technology worker, was walking home while wearing earbuds and carrying an unloaded air rifle. Someone thought the gun was real and called the cops. Broward Sheriff’s Dep. Peter Peraza then killed McBean.

Peraza later claimed he was forced to shoot the 33-year-old in self-defense. He cited Florida’s controversial and demonstrably racist Stand Your Ground law. That was a novel and largely unheard-of use of the statute.

While civil-rights advocates worried Peraza’s defense set a concerning precedent, the Florida Supreme Court today unanimously affirmed that on-duty cops can claim they are “standing their ground” when killing citizens.

In layman’s terms, the court ruled that, because the law gives stand-your-ground rights to all “persons” in Florida without making any distinctions for their jobs, cops can use the law to defend themselves while on duty.

Peraza now gets to claim he was standing his ground in a case many civil-rights advocates say was a travesty from the start. Peraza says he shouted at McBean to get him to drop his air file. The cop says the 33-year-old, who was at the time also undergoing a mental-health crisis, did not comply. But McBean’s lifeless body was photographed wearing earbuds: His family, to this day, wonders if he was simply listening to music and not able to hear the cop.

“Put simply, a law enforcement officer is a ‘person’ whether on duty or off, and irrespective of whether the officer is making an arrest,” the court ruled. The judges also stated that Peraza was “immune from criminal prosecution.”

The ruling is a victory for the National Rifle Association and Florida’s top NRA lobbyist, Marion Hammer, who wrote the law in 2005. It is also a win for Florida cops and police unions, who already benefit from significant legal protections when they kill people while on duty.

Civil-rights advocates and public-health experts have begged the state for years to repeal Stand Your Ground. The law, which lets anyone who fears for their life shoot to kill in self-defense, was the first of its kind in America. Importantly, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association tied the law to a “sharp, sustained” increase in homicides across the state. Murders were actually decreasing before Florida passed it.


Florida Trooper Scared by Lemur During DUI Stop

SANFORD, FL — A Florida man who was hauling a trailer with a lemur, wallaby, tortoise, parrot and other animals was arrested on a DUI charge on Interstate 4 on Saturday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Officials said that they began receiving reports of a pickup truck hauling a trailer driving erratically on State Road 417 at about 6:10 p.m. Three separate drivers also said the truck hit their vehicles without stopping, according to the report.

A trooper spotted a vehicle matching the description.  After stopping the vehicle, the officer also noted that the driver, 27-year-old Shane Taylor, was slurring his speech, had bloodshot eyes and appeared to be disoriented.

Dashcam video shows the lemur peeking out of the trailer before hopping to the ground and leaping around the trooper who was talking to the driver.  The video shows the trooper doing a double-take as the lemur runs around and stands on its hind legs.

Taylor warned troopers that the lemur named Miko “bites.” Taylor was arrested on several charges including DUI.

State wildlife officers took custody of the lemur and other exotic animals including a tortoise, a goat, a parrot, several sheep, and a wallaby.

Florida Man Gets Job Interview, Then Gets Arrested For Shoplifting on the Way Out

SPRING HILL, FL. – A man was arrested Wednesday for shoplifting from a Florida Kohl’s store minutes after interviewing for a job there, police said.

Dominick Breedlove has been charged with retail theft after deputies say he tried to shoplift shoes. After leaving the human resources office, for a job interview, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office says Breedlove spotted two pairs of Nike shoes without security tags.

Authorities say he grabbed a Kohl’s shopping bag from a previous purchase out of his car and then he proceeded to put two pairs of women’s shoes in the bag — a pair of Nike Air Bella TR shoes, valued at $80; and a pair of Nike Elite TR shoes, valued at $70.

A loss prevention worker was watching him the entire time and called the sheriff’s office to report the crime in progress.

Breedlove was taken into custody in the parking lot.

Breedlove told investigators he was going to give the shoes to his mother.

The Sheriff’s office noted that Breedlove did not get the job.

Florida Men Fight over Vodka

A Florida man is accused of  attacking another man in a dispute over a bottle of vodka, according to authorities.

According to a police report from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, officers responded to a battery call in Stuart. When they arrived to the American Legion parking lot, an “intoxicated” man covered in blood approached officers, saying he’d been beaten up by a man named Louis Piselli.

The victim, John O’Rourke, reported that he and Piselli had been sitting in his van nearby in the parking lot of Lowes. The two men had only known each other a short time, having met at the Martin County Fairgrounds for a Thanksgiving dinner served by a church group, he said.

While sitting in the car, O’Rourke told officers that Piselli asked him if he had any vodka. The victim replied that he had a half a pint and handed him the bottle, which Piselli began to “chug,” read the report.

O’Rourke told Piselli he was “upset” that he was drinking all his booze, and that’s when the situation escalated. Piselli then allegedly grabbed the man by his hair, slammed his head against the steering wheel and dragged him out of the van to beat him some more, biting his right ear in the process.

When O’Rourke grabbed a stick to defend himself, he said Piselli threw his bike at him. The victim said Piselli then “punched his face multiple times and slammed his face into the curb,” and fled on his bike. But not before he threatened to come back and “murder” O’Rourke at midnight.

While O’Rourke was being treated for a head laceration at a local hospital, officers went back to the Lowes parking lot, where they encountered Piselli, who had slurred speech, watery eyes and dried blood on the front and back of his hands. When asked about the blood, Piselli said he cut himself shaving, read the report, which adds there were no cuts on his face consistent with a shaving injury. On the ground near the victim’s van, officers found a large pool of blood, a broken stick and an empty, blood-stained vodka bottle.

Officers ran the suspect’s name and found an outstanding warrant for violation of a domestic violence injunction and he was placed under arrest. While in the patrol car, the affadavit says he began to curse at officers, tried to make himself throw up and spat on a deputy.

The 52-year-old was charged with aggravated battery with great bodily harm and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Piselli was taken to the Martin County Jail., where he remains. Bond was set at $12,500.

Parkland PR Consultant Apologizes After Calling Critics ‘Crazies’

A crisis public relations consultant created a crisis of her own for the Broward school district, after a video came to light in which she dismissed the district’s critics in the Parkland massacre as “crazies” and called a reporter a “skanky” “jerk” who “smells bad.”

Sara Brady, who was paid nearly $75,000 to assist the district after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told an audience of public relations professionals last July that critics of the school district’s controversial Promise program, which allowed students who commit minor crimes to avoid jail, were “crazies.” The comments came during a speech Brady gave about crisis management for schools and focusing on how to preserve the school’s reputation by using various tactics to influence public opinion.

The 90 minute video, which was taken down from a now-deleted Vimeo account hosting videos of Brady’s work, was shot in July 2018 at the 18th Annual Public Relations Executives Meeting for the Council of the Great City Schools.

She criticized South Florida Sun Sentinel reporter Scott Travis, although she didn’t name him, as “a jerk,” and then she got more personal.

“He is sloppy, he’s reckless, he’s mean, and he smells bad,” she said, laughing along with the audience.

At the point, Broward school district spokeswoman Tracy Clark can be heard calling out, “Sour milk!” That provoked more laughter.

At another point in the video Brady describes him as “that nasty, skanky reporter.”

Her statement about “crazies” concerned what happened after a state commission concluded that the Promise program had not been a factor in the shooting. The district put out a tweet about that conclusion, prompting criticism from the district’s detractors.

“And sure enough, all the crazies kind of came out,” Brady told an audience in California, in a video revealed by the South Florida Sun Sentinel in a recent story about the school district’s public relations damage control after the shooting. “The district knows who the crazies are and who the opposition is, and so certainly they seized on it and started putting stuff out there.”

The Promise program had been seized upon nationwide by conservative critics who were happy to lay part of the blame for the shooting on a program supported by President Obama. But the program had also been criticized by many family members of the victims in the massacre.

“Our leaders don’t care about Parkland families!” Hunter Pollack, whose sister Meadow was killed in the attack, said in a Twitter post that went viral. “Broward’s Superintendent and his PR person called grieving families “crazies,” “the opposition,” and call hardworking reporters “skanks” for exposing the truth. Retweet and expose them all!”

Brady, of Winter Park in suburban Orlando, apologized, saying her comments had not been aimed at the bereaved families.

“Mr. Pollack … my remarks were intended to poke at the media in general,” she wrote in response. “I offer my profound apology for my lapse in judgment and display of disrespect.”

“I probably went a little overboard in my comments about the reporter,” said Brady, a former police reporter at the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s just kind of shop talk. I acknowledge that.”

“My bigger concern is that anyone who lost a loved one thinks I was referring to them,” she said. “And I was not, in any way, shape or form.”

Broward school superintendent Robert Runcie, who watched the video the previous night, called Travis to apologize, saying said the comments were “inexcusable and don’t reflect the values of the district.”

Florida Man Arrested For Shooting Rifle Outside a Bar

SUWANNEE COUNTY, FL – A six-time convicted felon has been arrested after deputies say he shot a rifle at two people in the parking lot of a local bar.

Around 1:45 a.m. Monday morning, the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office received reports that a man was in the parking lot of the Keg Room Bar located shooting a rifle.

Upon deputies arrival on the scene, the man had already run away.

They met with a male victim who stated while he was attempting to wrestle the rifle away from the unknown man, the gun went off, causing a bullet to hit his shirt. A second victim stated that the subject pointed the rifle at her and fired at least one round at her. Neither victim suffered any injuries.

Deputies then found the suspect’s truck crashed nearby. The suspect fled the scene of the crash, but with the assistance of the Suwannee Correctional Institutions K-9 Team, he was found hiding in the floorboard of a vehicle in the 22000 block of 35th Drive and was taken into custody.

The suspect was identified as David Paul Mankamyer, 42, from St. Lucie, FL, a six-time convicted felon, who had once been convicted of attempted murder.

David was transported to the Suwannee County Jail and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, use of a firearm under the influence of alcohol, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, resisting arrest without violence, and trespassing.

The Florida Highway Patrol is also investigating the traffic crash and additional charges are pending that investigation.


Florida Man Arrested After Leading Police on U-Haul Chase

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL. – A Tampa man faces multiple charges after authorities say he led them on a 3-county chase in a U-Haul truck.

It began around 2:00 a.m. on Monday after 55-year-old Jeffrey Hugh Thompson allegedly took off from a traffic stop. A trooper later spotted the U-Haul Thompson was driving and started to follow him, authorities said.

About 30 minutes later, backup arrived, and a pursuit began on I-75 in Hillsborough County.

The chase eventually ended into Pinellas County where deputies threw out a spike strip on Tampa Road to slow the truck. Troopers were then able to use a Pursuit Intervention Technique, also known as a PIT maneuver, to end the pursuit in Palm Harbor at US-19 and Highlands Boulevard.

Thompson was arrested and taken to the Hillsborough County jail on charges of Reckless Driving, Fleeing and Eluding, Driving While License Suspended, and multiple felony warrant charges to include Career Offender – Failure to Register with nationwide extradition.


He’s being held without bond.