10 Most WTF Florida Man Stories of 2016 (So Far) - Rolling Stone
Home Culture Culture Lists

10 Most WTF Florida Man Stories of 2016 (So Far)

From shuffleboard disputes to flamingo assault to “unlawful possession and transportation of an alligator”

Florida has a bit of a reputation when it comes to crime. No one knows whether it's something in the water, due to the incessant heat or simply a result of the state's liberal open-records laws, but so-called Florida Man (and woman and teen) has become a national legend for weird crimes like naked burglary or stalking the streets, armed, while dressed like a dinosaur. If no one is calling the cops on them, Florida Man is known to stand shirtless in a hurricane while blasting Slayer, or to call 911 themselves to report a lack of vodka or just to talk about Hitler. Even when they are not committing crimes, Florida Man can be seen walking into the hospital with a dead shark still attached to their arm, or taking three days to discover that he shot himself, or being sucked into a nuclear power plant. Their reputation appears to be well earned. To celebrate their ignominious accomplishments, here are the 10 Best Florida Man stories of 2016, so far.

Florida Man Threw An Alligator Into A Wendy’s Drive Thru Window

Florida Man Throws an Alligator Into a Wendy’s Drive-Thru Window

Last February, a Florida man went to a drive-thru restaurant and made his own delivery. Joshua James, 23, pulled into the drive-thru of a Wendy’s in Loxahatchee, Florida, around 1:30 a.m. and after the server handed him a drink, James reached into the back of his truck, grabbed a three-and-a-half foot alligator, and threw it through the restaurant’s drive-thru window. He then sped away, according to local NBS affiliate WPTV. The restaurant workers called the police to come get the good-sized gator out of their restaurant. Police were able to track down James via surveillance footage and his credit card purchases. James was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and unlawful possession and transportation of an alligator. The alligator was rescued and released in a nearby canal. At his court appearance, the judge came down hard on the young man, because "this type of thing is not a prank. It's a crime." According to the Sun Sentinel, he sentenced James to one year of probation, a $500 fine and 75 hours of community service. James was also ordered to stay out of all Wendy's restaurants.

Florida Man Attacks a Dancing Flamingo at Busch Gardens

A Florida man was visiting Busch Gardens Tampa with his family, when he reached into an animal pen and attacked a dancing flamingo. According to WFLA, Joseph Anthony Corrao, 45, picked up one flamingo and set it down unharmed. He then picked up a second flamingo, whose name was Pinky, and when his mother told him to stop harassing the birds, put the bird down so forcefully it’s foot was almost completely severed from its leg. Corrao was arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty. When asked about Corrao’s motive, the Tampa Police Department said that was "the question of the day," according to WFLA. The amusement park released a statement saying that the flamingo had to be "humanely euthanized" due to the severely traumatic injuries sustained in the assault. "Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family and made many appearances on behalf of the park’s conservation and education efforts," a statement read. "She will be sorely missed." Perhaps Carrao can join a rehabilitation group with this Florida man who was arrested for punching a swan and this Florida man who tried to ride a manatee.

Florida Man Gets Banned From Pizza After Making Too Many Prank Calls

While prank calling the local pizza shop is the preferred activity of many teenage slumber parties, a grown-up Florida man took the joke too far. According to local paper TCPalm, police were called into investigate after pizza shops in Sebastian, Florida, reported a string of provoking phone calls made over the course of a three-week reign of terror this summer. A man would call, order pizza and then refuse to pay, or he would send drivers to fake or abandoned addresses, or simply call to harass the restaurant. Pizza shops estimated he had cost them at least $667 in pizza.

The caller was clever enough to use a variety of fake phone numbers and names, but police eventually tracked him down. He was charged with four counts of harassing phone calls, two counts of first-degree petty theft, and one count of second-degree petty theft. The true penalty of his crime, though, is that he has been banned from ever ordering a pizza again. He may have preferred jail time. 

Florida Teen Pretends to Be a Doctor. Twice.

Malachi Love-Robinson wants to be a doctor when he grows up, so he’s getting a little practice now. In January 2015, the then-17-year-old was caught pretending to be a doctor at St. Mary's Medical Center, in West Palm Beach, Florida – he even observed gynecological exams. The hospital didn’t press charges against Love-Robinson, because he hadn’t interacted with any patients. The enterprising teen took that as a sign to go ahead and open his own "medical" clinic. According to the Sun-Sentinel, Love-Robinson opened the New Birth New Life Holistic and Alternative Medical Center and Urgent Care in West Palm Beach and billed himself as Dr. Love-Robinson. But he didn’t claim to be an M.D., but rather a PhD as well as "HHP-C" and an "AMP-C," although no one is quite sure what those designations mean. The health department caught on to his scheme pretty quickly and shut the clinic down last February. He was arrested for fraud and practicing medicine without a license, but protested, saying, "I'm hurt because of the accusations and allegations. But like I said, this is not the first time where I've been accused and I will pursue this. And when I do, you guys will know."

Love-Robinson was arrested again in September, although not for practicing medicine without a license, but for purchasing a Jaguar with an elderly co-signer who didn’t remember agreeing to the loan. He is awaiting a hearing in November. 

Florida Man Freaks Out Over Shuffleboard at Senior Citizen Center

Herbert Hayden is a bad sport. The 81-year-old man was playing shuffleboard at the Pinellas Park Senior Center near St. Petersburg, Florida, when a disagreement turned violent. According to The Smoking Gun, Hayden flew into a rage over a perceived shuffleboard slight and "had a verbal argument that escalated into a physical altercation." According to court records, Hayden allegedly punched the victim in the face and "hit him with his shuffleboard cue causing damage to both cues." The victim ended up with four-inch scratches down his face and, undoubtedly, a serious grudge against both Hayden and shuffleboard.

Employees broke up the fight and Hayden was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge and booked into the county jail. A judge later issued an order barring Hayden from having any contact with his victim, which shouldn't be too difficult as Hayden apparently has plenty of choices on where to play shuffleboard in St. Pete.

Florida Man Assaults His Boss With Frozen Hamburger

Russell Francis Gomez showed up late to work at fast-food spot the Krystal, but when he found out he would be written up for the infraction, he flipped his burger. The 29-year-old Gomez started throwing frozen hamburger patties at his boss. As he chucked frozen chuck, the store manager tried to escape to his office, and Gomez began knocking over equipment and pouring cooking oil on the floor, according to Action News Jax.

As Gomez’s tantrum continued, other Krystal employees helped customers escape the meaty melee. Gomez then moved on to other forms of property damage. According to police, he "flipped the circuit breakers, overturned trash cans, and damaged electronic equipment." Gomez tried to flee the scene, but two customers blocked him from leaving, because he was "saying he was going to return and making threats toward the manager," the police department’s statement explained. Gomez spat in the face of one of the customers who "grabbed and restrained Gomez" until police arrived.

While police took statements, Gomez tried to make a break on foot, but was quickly caught.

Gomez was booked into the Columbia County Jail on three counts of aggravated battery, as well as assault, criminal mischief and resisting an officer without violence. When police ran his record, they found that he was also driving with a suspended license and ended up facing additional charges.

Gomez should hang out with the Florida man who threw potato chips at Wal-Mart employees, yet both of these gentlemen are better employees than the Florida man who buried his boss in dirt.

(Garlic Knots) Jessica and Lon Binder/Flickr

Florida Woman Starts Brawl Over Cheese on Garlic Knots

A 25-year-old woman was unhappy last February when a chef at Palm Coast Pizza in Palm Coast, Florida, topped her garlic knots with cheese. Jessica Conti was horrified at the thought of cheesy garlic knots and demanded her money back. The cashier complied, but Conti thought her attitude was rude. That’s when her three friends stormed the restaurant, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. The three men started a free-for-all, knocking a fax machine and cash register off the counter and throwing food and boxes around the pizzeria. As cheese-haters are wont to do, one of the crew picked up a glass parmesan container and threw it at a television screen, damaging the set.

Employees called the police as the melee continued, but the anti-cheesy garlic knot crew left the restaurant before officers arrived. Luckily, someone at the restaurant was able to identify the group, though, and deputies soon had them in custody. They were charged with burglary and criminal mischief. Perhaps they should try this Florida man’s unique excuse for their vandalism.

Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.