In 2013, a Twitter account popped up, and “Florida Man” stories quickly became a meme, exhibiting America’s “worst superhero.” But it’s not just the men of Florida who find the strangest ways to commit crimes. “Florida Women” never cease to amaze, either.
Believe it or not, a Miami-based Injury Claim Coach looked at the percentages of Florida hallmarks present in Florida Man articles and created a scoring system. Nearly every Florida Man story contains one of the following categories: Firearms (or other weapons), Locations, Objects, Reasons for Arrest, Injuries, Drugs and Alcohol, and Animals (usually alligators). And if the name Florida had an “H” in it, it would stand for Humor.
These stories are as funny as they are bizarre.
Florida Man Attends Christmas Festival to Yell “Santa Isn’t Real” at Children
An unnamed and unofficial Grinch decided to go to a Christmas festival in Cape Coral in 2018 with the purpose of terrorizing kids, leaving them in tears and their parents in a rage. He just kept yelling “Santa Claus doesn’t exist” at the children.
Cell phone footage taken by a local news station shows the man screaming, at the top of his lungs, “There’s no Santa Claus!” He also added that their parents were lying to them. He was holding a sign, too, but it wasn’t clear what it said.
He Was Protected by the First Amendment
As the man stood there for hours in the middle of the festival, relentlessly screaming his anti-Christmas rant, some kids burst into tears. Others, however, managed to ignore the screaming lunatic since they were simply too excited to be distracted by the Scrooge.
As it turns out, his outburst was protected by the First Amendment. (The kids’ innocence, however, isn’t.) Police were present but couldn’t do anything because voicing his opinions – despite the inappropriate situation – is protected under the First Amendment. The man, whose name wasn’t released, chose not to comment.
Florida Woman Gets Arrested With Pitchfork and Whip Outside of Publix
In July 2022, footage from a dashboard camera shows the arrest of a Florida woman who held a pitchfork and whip outside of a Publix supermarket in Clermont. A state trooper pulled up just as the woman walked out in front of the cruiser.
Standing in the rain, she pointed a black whip at the vehicle. She walked away only to reappear and point a pitchfork at the cop. The officer got out of the car to arrest her and put her in cuffs. She was heard telling someone, “I forgive you for saying that.” To the trooper, she asked, “Don’t you feel real bad?”
She Was Selling Teddy Bears… With Weapons
“You seem like a good man, you’re trying to do your job, because this woman’s mentally ill, right,” she said. When he asked if she had taken anything today, she replied, “yes.” She then forgave him, shouted at him, and told him to “Baker Act” her (a reference to the Florida Mental Health Act of 1971).
According to the police, she had stabbed a minivan with the pitchfork, causing damage. Apparently, she was trying to sell teddy bears outside the supermarket. She was reportedly charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which is a third-degree felony. Pitchfork lady found herself in Lake County Jail.
Florida Man Arrested for Going Door to Door and Picking Fights
A drunk, shirtless, and angry Pensacola resident was booked in October 2018 after going door-to-door looking for a fight. He punched a woman, threatened owners, stole a pizza, and eventually ran into a fence, where he passed out.
32-year-old Christopher Doyle Norman was arrested for multiple offenses – home invasion, battery, burglary, larceny, criminal mischief – which began when he kicked open the gate to a trailer park. Early on in his rampage, he fell through a trailer home’s open front door, leading the owner to order Norman to leave.
His Marathon Ended at a Fence
At a nearby apartment complex, he knocked on doors, daring residents to “fight him.” He caused damage to each door that was slammed in his face. He chased people around their kitchen tables before taking a slice of pizza from one apartment.
Norman finally ran into a chain fence, knocked it down, and passed out right on top of it. Police arrived shortly after, to find the sleeping, clearly intoxicated, man. Awoken by the officers while cuffing him, he proceeded to threaten them too. Luckily, no major injuries were incurred during his malicious marathon.
Florida Woman Shoplifts in a Turkey Costume
67-year-old Irene Leonhard, of the Village of Country Club Hills, figured she wouldn’t be recognized if she stole some stuff while dressed as a turkey. She must have really wanted the merchandise from the department store Belk at La Plaza Grande.
Leonhard was also carrying a mesh bag and a small purse when she entered the store. What did she snag? A Michael Kors handbag, a waffle maker, and $1,497.99 in merchandise. Of course, people noticed the large fake turkey making its way through the aisles. Employees were eyeballing the turkey’s every move. The irony is she would have likely gone undetected had she dressed normally.
She Wanted to Wear the Costume to Court
Leonhard was obviously caught, charged with grand theft, and sent to Lake County Jail on $5,000 bond. The retired GM employee and faithful church member said she bought the costume years ago as a joke. “I would wear it to pass out candy to the children,” she said.
She went to Belk that day with the intention to hand out more candy, although she wasn’t invited to do so. She also revealed that she was hoping to wear the costume to court, “but now I don’t think that’s a good idea,” she added at the time. “I don’t think that would impress the judge.”
Florida Man Breaks Into Crocodile Farm, Leaves Behind His Crocs
In November 2018, when staff members at Alligator Farm Zoological Park in St. Augustine entered the crocodile enclosure and found two floating Croc shoes and some clothing, they started to worry. They didn’t see a victim but soon found a trail of blood that led all the way up to the top of the 20-foot enclosure.
Police acted quickly and found the culprit: 23-year-old Brandon Hatfield. Someone had reported a bloody man in his underwear “doing a slow, creeping crawl” through a woman’s yard nearby. Surveillance footage shows Hatfield in the exhibit for four hours. He can be seen jumping from the 20-foot wall into the crocodile pit below.
He Blamed It on an Old Man With Baby Alligators
Three 12-foot-long crocodiles were waiting inside, one of which lunged at Hatfield and latched onto his foot. He then frantically tried to fight off the crocodile and managed to get away. He later told officers that an “old man had the alligators on a leash, and he was surrounded by all these baby alligators in the old man’s garage.”
He claimed that this man was “feeding him to his alligators.” Dismissing his bizarre story, police understood that the young man was not in his right mind. The alligator farm director John Bruggen stated, “I would think he’s on some sort of drugs.”
Florida Woman Leads Police on Golf-Course Chase
In December 2021, a 60-year-old woman named Jodie Ann Harvey led local police on a chase across a Vero Beach golf course. It began once she refused to comply with a routine traffic stop. She then blasted through the golf course gate, zigging and zagging through golf carts and baffled players alike.
Harvey eventually calmed down, but at the cost of her vehicle and the exhausted officers following her. As a result, she was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, DUI, two counts of criminal mischief, aggravated fleeing to elude, and aggravated assault on an officer/firefighter/EMT.
Florida Man Pulled Over for “Speeding” in “Footmobile”
A Florida man dressed in a Fred Flintstone costume was pulled over for speeding in his custom “footmobile,” which was made to look like the famous Flintstones vehicle. Don Swartz was busted in November 2018 in Wesley Chapel in what turned out to be his Smart Car in a costume.
Swartz even took the side doors off of it. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office also posted the incident to their Facebook page. “Mr. Flintstone was issued a citation for speed and became unruly and had to be detained,” the post read. After further investigation, Mr. Flintstone was issued a Notice to Appear and then released.
Florida Woman Bites Husband After He Changes Her Computer Password
In 2017, 53-year-old Mary Jo King from Palm Bay got into a verbal argument with her husband after he changed the password to their computer. She then shouted that her husband knew the password before jumping on his back and striking him.
The feral woman clung to his back like a vicious animal, the police reported. She then sunk her teeth into the back of his head. Once the cops showed up, she told them, “I’m just going to ignore y’all.” She was ultimately booked for Battery Domestic Violence.
Florida Man on the Run Is Brought Down by His Own Pants
A Florida man’s attempt to escape the cops came to an end when his own pants kept making him fall. Tobias Smith had been driving an unregistered car in Daytona Beach when it all began. A police cruiser tried to pull him over for a registration error, but Smith reacted by fleeing.
Smith then ran a red light and rammed into another car, causing $10,000 in damages in addition to terrifying the driver inside. Despite that, Smith kept driving, hitting a light post and finally crashing into the front of a barbershop. That crash added another $3,000 to the list of damages.
He Wasn’t Wearing Proper Getaway Pants
Smith decided to make a run for it; he jumped out of his car and fled but didn’t get very far. Thanks to his pants constantly slipping, Smith kept stumbling and eventually fell. Once in cuffs, he was arrested and charged with fleeing and leaving the scene of two crashes, in addition to driving with a suspended license.
Turns out Smith has been to the Volusia County jail seven times and spent over four months in federal prison. This was his second hit-and-run. He was previously accused of intentionally crashing into his ex-girlfriend’s car with a stolen car.
Florida Woman Attacks Parents Because They Didn’t Take Her to Outback Steakhouse
Palm Beach County Police responded to a call from the Lake Worth home where 28-year-old Deana Seltzer lives with her parents. An “armed domestic disturbance in progress,” was called in. Vadim Seltzer told dispatchers that his daughter was “armed with a knife,” and then the line went dead.
Dispatchers managed to get him back on the phone before he ran out the front door to meet the cops. Seconds later, his daughter ran outside. Despite not holding a weapon, she was taken into custody without incident. In the home, officers found a “large glass dining room table flipped over and broken glass scattered throughout the dining area.”
She Went After Her Frail, Elderly Parents
Apparently, Deana “became enraged” when her parents, both of whom were described as “elderly and frail,” refused to take her to Outback Steakhouse. She then struck her mother with closed fists and scratched her father on his face when he tried to intervene.
She “began screaming and flipped over a large heavy glass tabletop,” breaking it into “hundreds of pieces,” the report read. After a rampage through the house, she grabbed the knife and ran toward her father, making “slashing” motions and screaming, “I’m going to f***ing kill you.” She was arrested but then released on supervised recognizance.
Florida Man Beats Mechanic for Taking Too Long to Fix His Car
A 56-year-old man was charged with aggravated battery for attacking his mechanic over the head with a golf club. Why would he do such a thing? Well, he was clearly enraged with the length of time the mechanic was taking to fix his car.
Once the mechanic told him he wasn’t going to help him anymore, the man reacted violently. He got a golf club from behind his house and attacked the mechanic. Luckily, the victim was doing fine after receiving medical attention. He ended up needing several stitches.
Florida Woman Arrested for Calling Police Over 12,000 Times
In August 2022, Carla Jefferson, 51, was arrested for harassing officers and making more than 12,000 calls to police precincts within a year. She would “harass, belittle, swear at, argue with” anyone who took her calls to the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
She called 512 times in a 24-hour span, with her “vulgar, threatening or obscene” messages. The thing is the police are obligated to take every call that comes in. Her incessant calls also held up emergency lines. She was warned before finally being arrested.
Florida Man Arrested for Trying To “Barbecue” Child Molesters
Osceola County in Kissimmee is tragically known for being a sex offender haven because it’s not in the restricted range of schools, playgrounds, and churches. 50-year-old Jorge Porto-Sierra took it upon himself to do something about this.
There was a man was standing outside his motel room at the Village Inn when Porto-Sierra started screaming at him. The man ran back into his room while Porto-Sierra tried to break one of the windows and pour gasoline inside. He was heard screaming, “You’re going to die child molester! I’m coming in!”
He Openly Admitted to His Plan
The man and his roommate escaped via the back window. But Porto-Sierra allegedly attacked two other men inside a car in the same motel parking lot by pouring gasoline into their car through an open window. Porto-Sierra got into his own car, a Ford Focus, and started ramming their car.
Once the police arrived on the scene, Porto-Sierra openly admitted to his plan to “barbeque” these pedophiles. Waiving his Miranda rights, he confessed and told the authorities, “They raped kids, they are child molesters that all live here and deserve to die.” He was then charged with four counts of attempted premeditated murder.
Florida Woman Charged With DUI on Horseback
Someone called the Polk County police about a woman, 53-year-old Donna Byrne, who appeared confused and possibly in danger. When they arrived, they found her riding her horse on the road. They conducted a sobriety test on her, and her blood alcohol level was .161, which is a lot higher than Florida’s legal limit of .08.
“Ms. Byrne was obviously not in any condition to be on the road,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced. “She not only put herself and the horse in danger, but also anyone who was driving on the road, which is typically very busy.”
She’s Not an Animal Lover
Byrne was subsequently charged with a DUI as well as animal neglect for endangering the horse and failing to provide proper protection for it. Deputies took the horse to a local Animal Control livestock facility. Byrne, meanwhile, was taken to Polk County Jail.
According to the police, she has a prior criminal history, including five felony and 10 misdemeanor charges, some of which consisted of cruelty to animals, as well as drug possession, probation violation, and criminal traffic.
Florida Man Is Sick of People Putting Urine in Gas Station Microwave
This one doesn’t involve an arrest (yet), but Parul Patel, a BP gas station and convenience store owner in Jacksonville, has banned the use of his microwave, and it’s for a good reason. Patel grew “sick and tired” of locals using his microwave to – get this – warm their urine.
He claimed that “random people keep walking in every day” to warm containers of urine in his microwave. And they’re not even customers; rather, they’re suspected to be on their way to a nearby drug testing facility (both LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics are within walking distance of the gas station).
The “Don’t Microwave Your Urine” Poster
Patel related: “They walk in off the street, microwave urine containers, then leave.” He added that they often become violent or aggressive when he asks them not to do so. One time, a female culprit was so desperate to microwave her urine that she asked, “Well, where is the sign that says you can’t use this for this kind of purpose?”
So, Patel decided to put up a sign. His “don’t microwave your urine” poster, unsurprisingly, has gone viral. Whether it has succeeded in deterring people from using his microwave anymore is up in the air.
Florida Woman Beats Husband With Bouquet
2020 was a crazy year, which might have contributed to the state that this woman was in when she attacked her husband with a Mother’s Day bouquet. Sandra Kay Webb, from Largo, was arrested after she was caught hitting him repeatedly with the flowers, he bought her for the holiday.
Apparently, he bought the flowers for the kids to give her. The 32-year-old wife and mom reportedly then threw the bouquet at him while he was lying in bed. She also spit on him but denied that part to the police. After her rights were read, she admitted to throwing the flowers at him. She was charged with domestic battery and released from jail on her own recognizance.
Florida Man Stabs Tourist With Scissors
Jonathan Crenshaw doesn’t have arms, yet he managed to stab a man with scissors in Miami Beach in July of 2018. The 46-year-old homeless man stabbed a tourist with his feet. Police found 22-year-old Cesar Coronado lying on the ground, bleeding from his left arm.
Coronado said that he and a friend were just asking the man for directions when he lunged at them out of nowhere. According to Crenshaw’s account, the two came up to him and punched him in the head for no reason. He said he then stabbed Coronado twice and walked away.
Everyone Knows the Homeless Dude With No Arms
Crenshaw, a longtime citizen in the area, was found by the cops after Coronado mentioned a homeless man with no arms. Police caught Crenshaw nearby, charged him with aggravated battery, and sent him to a correctional center on $7,500 bond.
As for Coronado, he recovered at Mount Sinai Medical Center. As it turns out, Crenshaw has quite a rap sheet. He’s he’s been charged with trespassing, disorderly intoxication, vandalism, and battery on police officers, to name a few. He’s also known to work in the area as a street artist who paints with his feet.
Florida Woman Helps Her Son Beat Up Another Kid
In September 2021, a mom from Palm Coast helped her son and a friend of his attack another child. The victim’s mom reported that two juveniles and one of the boys’ mothers attacked her son. Ashley Ruffin, 31, reportedly restrained the other kid while the two assaulted him. She faced a misdemeanor battery charge aside from the felony child abuse charges.
Ruffin had to spend the night in jail. Two days after the arrest, she posted a video to Facebook, claiming she saw a video of the victim assaulting her son and, since the school “ignored” her and her husband’s request to “do things the right way,” Ruffin took matters into her own hands.
Florida Man Gets Beaten Up by Easter Bunny
In this incident, a man in a rabbit costume known as “B Rabbit” and his friends strolled downtown Orlando when they witnessed a man beating up his girlfriend. When the jerk spat on the woman, B Rabbit did what any man in a bunny costume would do: whoop the guy’s ass.
The fight was quickly broken up by Orlando police. B Rabbit then showed the officer the video of the girlfriend-beating jerk and thus no arrests were made. It wasn’t clear, by the way, why the man and the woman were fighting and what happened to them.
Florida Woman Arrested in a Bra After Crashing Into Boyfriend’s Truck
Back in 2016, 25-year-old Brianda Ramirez was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after crashing into her boyfriend’s truck and overturning it. Ramirez, from Palm Beach, was also wearing nothing but a bra.
Her boyfriend, Gabriel Sandoval, 38, tried to break up with her after a one-year relationship. Ramirez allegedly followed him home, but he drove off in his truck. She tracked him down and, according to her account, he “slammed on his brakes” to make her rear-end his truck with her Ford Fusion. His truck then overturned and landed on its roof. Ramirez fled the scene… in nothing but a bra (apparently, they were being intimate).
Man Throws Alligator at Wendy’s Drive-Thru Window
We told you alligators tend to be a part of Florida Man stories. In this particular incident, the poor creature was used as a weapon in a drive-thru of all places. One night in Jupiter, Joshua James decided to toss a 3-and-a-half-foot alligator into a Wendy’s drive-thru window.
He literally pulled up to the drive-thru, ordered a drink and then threw the large reptile into the fast-food joint. James was later taken into custody by US Marshals. He ultimately admitted to why he did what he did…
His Mom Says He’s a “Prankster”
James confessed to having picked up the alligator along the side of a road before assaulting a Wendy’s employee with it. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, illegally killing, possessing, or capturing an alligator, as well as second-degree larceny petit theft.
“It was just a stupid prank that he did that’s now turning into this; it’s stupid,” his mother told a local news reporter. “He’s a prankster. He does stuff like this because he thinks it’s funny.” Yeah… good one, Joshua. Real funny…
Florida Woman Threatens McDonald’s Employees Over Dipping Sauce
Speaking of fast-food incidents in Florida, this Florida woman was arrested after threatening McDonald’s employees for not getting the dipping sauces she wanted with her meal. 19-year-old Maguire Marie Mclaughlin was charged with disorderly conduct resisting arrest.
While at a McDonald’s in Vero Beach, she told employees that she would “rob” the place during her visit at around 4 a.m. Reports were made of an “irate” woman at the drive-thru window. She was said to have ordered a “large amount of food” and “one flavor of every dipping sauce.”
She Asked for the Sauces After Paying (a McD’s No-No)
The problem was that she asked for the dipping sauces after having paid. And the employees pointed out that the restaurant charges 25 cents per sauce. Unpleased, Mclaughlin started swearing at them and threatening to get “the sauce by whatever means necessary,” the report stated.
Police interviewed her on the scene, and she was said to have glossy eyes and slurred speech and her breath smelled of alcohol. She initially resisted arrest but was eventually restrained and taken to jail for processing.
Florida Man Flees Deputies on a Lawn Mower
A man in Crestview tried to flee the cops while riding a lawn mower. How he thought he could get away is beyond me. State deputies used a taser to stop him after he tried to avoid arrest. They were trying to serve arrest warrants on the 40-year-old man when they found him on the lawn mower in a backyard.
They shouted at him to get on the ground, but he made an escape instead. They chased him on foot before using the taser. When they caught up to him, they saw he had a revolver, a handcuff key, and a pipe with methamphetamine in it.
Florida Man Asks Police to Test His Drugs
Speaking of meth, a man from Spring Hill was arrested after calling 911 to say he suspected that some meth he recently purchased was fake. Thomas Eugene Colucci then asked the cops to test it for authenticity – you know, so they can arrest the dealer.
Surprise, surprise – officers came to his house to arrest him instead. The police stated: if anyone had “doubts about the authenticity of any illegal narcotics you have on-hand or have obtained from another person, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to provide this service, FREE of charge.”
Florida Man Skinny-Dips to Avoid Arrest
A man named Jesse Dean Lamb, 50, literally lost his shorts while he was trying to run from the cops in Suwanee County. He started his getaway in only bottoms, trying to escape through a river, but his shorts came off in the process.
He was left nude and unable to get out of the water. “As Jesse was swimming away, he lost his shorts and was now skinny dipping in the river until he came to a large u-shaped dock and hid underneath it,” the Facebook post read on the sheriff’s office page. He was eventually caught and charged with resisting arrest.
Florida Man Crashes Car Into Home
Meanwhile, in Port St. Lucie, a man was arrested after leaving a stolen car on the train tracks. His act caused the train to send his car flying into a house. Bradford Weitzel, 38, faced more than one charge after approaching detectives to say he couldn’t find his car after leaving a bar in Martin County.
He said he stole a car “in good faith,” but had to stop it on the train tracks and flee when the train was approaching. The car flew right into an occupied home nearby. Obviously, the home was damaged, but luckily its residents were unharmed.
Florida Man Steals Crossbow in His Pants
Over in Mims, man was arrested for stealing a large crossbow from a hardware store. How did he do it? By stuffing it down his pants and covering it with his jacket. Surveillance cameras at the True Value hardware caught him in the act.
He had difficulty escaping the police since he was walking with a crutch. “WELL HERE IS SOMETHING YOU DON’T SEE EVERYDAY…ONE OF THE WORLD’S DUMBEST CRIMINALS CAUGHT ON VIDEO STUFFING A CROSSBOW DOWN HIS PANTS!!” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, who posted the video to Facebook, wrote.
Florida Man Urinates in Beer Cave, Damages Stock
A 61-year-old Rockledge man was arrested for urinating on several cases of beer inside a Hop and Pop convenience store. According to the arrest report, he tried to use the store’s restroom, but it was locked.
So, he naturally decided to use the store’s merchandise as a toilet. He went into the store’s “beer cave,” and proceeded to pee on cases of beer. The store owner reported six cases of tainted beer worth $113.36. The man was charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief.
Florida Man Steals Ambulance
In 2021, this man was arrested for stealing an ambulance, before getting stuck in mud a few miles away. Hernando County police responded to a call of a stolen ambulance near Spring Hill. The ambulance belongs to the Hernando County Fire Rescue and Emergency Services.
It was parked – and left unsupervised – in the Oak Hill Hospital in Brooksville when it was taken. The suspect who stole the ambulance was identified as 29-year-old Trey Cornwell. He then drove it a few miles away to the “Kass Circle area off of Port Court.”
And Leaves It in the Mud
Cornwell eventually approached “a nearby body of water” where he got the vehicle stuck in mud and sand. Witnesses saw Cornwell get out of the ambulance and flee on foot toward a nearby shopping center.
After fleeing, authorities searched for him only to find him near the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office a few blocks away. Of course, he was charged with grand theft auto and held in a detention center “in lieu of a $10,000 bond.” His motive? Who knows…