Three Strange Florida Criminal Law Stories
As a fan and writer on criminal law, this author often reports strange criminal law stories from the state of Florida. These are some of my favorite vintage stories that I would like to share with the wider world.
Orange County. Florida – Veterans Day weekend 2010, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department became a national laughingstock when it was reported that sheriff’s deputies and members of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation carried out a series of warrantless raids on local Orlando barbershops that made history by arresting 35 people for the misdemeanor “unlicensed barbershop” after investigating the matter for several months. A record check revealed that in the last ten years only three people in the entire state of Florida had been sent to jail on such charges. In the present cases, many of the warrantless raids involved officers raiding barber shops that had children inside, handcuffing the barbers and “escorting” them to police vehicles. At least one felony arrest was made when one of the raids caught a barber with an unlicensed gun. We further learn that all the barbershops were in the African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods.
This initial report makes one wonder if those neighborhoods are known to be hotbeds of “criminal barbershops.”
New Port Richey, Florida: This strange story is also from 2010. As many of you know, “Four Loko” is a caffeinated alcoholic beverage. A New Port Richey man drank four bottles and then stripped naked. Police report the 21-year-old man ran barefoot from the back of his house to a house a few blocks away, broke a sliding glass door and ransacked the house. He then stripped off his clothes, defected on the floor and ripped the oven door off its hinges, according to Pasco County deputies. In another house, a woman came to her house and found the naked man stained with blood, sleeping on her sofa. She called 911. According to one report, when officers arrived, the man allegedly said, “Why are you arresting me? I didn’t steal anything.” He was charged with two counts of theft.
The headline of this little story could have read: “Loko Gone Loco”. It’s probably best to stay away from this dangerous product.
Hernando County Jail, Florida: 2011. Strange things happen in jail. An inmate in the Hernando County Jail didn’t have enough honey buns to pay off a gambling debt and was paid with a punch to the face. The inmate admitted that he lost a football bet with a fellow inmate. The loser of the bet said that he went to the cell of the winner of the bet to give him the bear claws that he owed him, but he was missing four honey buns. The winner of the bet was not happy about sticking with the bet and he hit the loser so hard that he had to be hospitalized. Yes, the winner of the bet and the puncher. he was arrested on an assault charge.
If this had been a casino game, the loser of the bet might have wagered: I’ll see your one bear paw and raise four honey buns…