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Don't touch the gators

Florida_alligator Three airboat captains have been arrested after an undercover sting caught them feeding and getting too comfy with alligators, WPLG Channel 10 reports today.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sent officers posing as tourists on July 12 at Everglades Holiday Park in Western Broward County.

The officers rode with captains Randy Rothermel, 49, Armando Horta, 43, and John D. Pieper, 58, and photographed them feeding the 'gators and letting tourists lean over the boats to take close-up photos.

Posted by Evan Benn at 12:40 PM on July 23, 2008 in Broward County | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Giving 'firecrotch' a new definition

From the With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies Department:

Two California men are going to jail after pleading no contest last week to setting their friend's crotch on fire as a practical joke.

The victim, Elliot Tuleja, had passed out after drinking with buddies Matthew Pillars, 22, and Jack Keiffer, 19, when they poured cologne on Tuleja's groin area and lit his pants on fire, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Tuleja suffered third-degree burns to his testicles and inner thighs.

Pillars was sentenced to two years in state prison; Keiffer will serve 45 days in county jail.

*Thanks to tipster C for the heads up.

Posted by Evan Benn at 03:01 PM on July 22, 2008 in Crime , Weird News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rick Ross: 305 hypocrite?

0721081rickross2 The Smoking Gun just dropped a fat one on Rick Ross: Hard evidence that the Miami rapper used to be a Florida prison guard.

This bomb comes a few days after Ross denied such allegations, claiming photos that surfaced on the Internet of him in a guard uniform (left) were "fake pictures ... created by the fake, meant to entertain the fake."

But TSG got Ross' personnel records from the Department of Corrections (back when his name was still William Leonard Roberts). He graduated at age 19 from the DoC training academy and went to work in 1995 at the South Florida Reception Center in Doral for $22,913.54 a year. He quit about two years later.

0721081inside1 Ross, now 32, likes to brag in lyrics and news articles about his days of slangin' weed, coke and heroin in Carol City.

Gotta wonder: Was that before or after he was a paid law enforcement officer, if it ever happened at all?

Posted by Evan Benn at 11:44 AM on July 22, 2008 in Dade County , High Profile , Police | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)

Umm, fellas, this ain't a safari

Wedding_crashers Let's start the week off with a little news out of Idaho.

Apparently, 10 members a gun-rights group were packing heat during their tour of Zoo Boise.

They told the Idaho Statesman that they wanted to make statement about citizens' rights to openly carry handguns.

In case you're wondering, they broke no laws.

But it does remind me of the classic scene from Wedding Crashers:

John Beckwith: Why can't we hunt something cool like a hawk or an eagle, something with some talons?

Jeremy Grey: That'd be awesome. We could get something like big game. Even like a gorilla or a rhinoceros or a f---ing human being! That'll get you jacked up.

John Beckwith: That's a little heavy.

Jeremy Grey: I mean like, hunt a human being right now, "Most Dangerous Game". Like a worthy adversary. Not a human being that's armed, but a clever, a clever, human being who knows the jungle. Or the woods.

If you forgot, the scene ends with Vince Vaughn getting Cheney'd.

Posted by Adam Beasley at 10:19 AM on July 21, 2008 in Weird News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

John Milton was right

Timemagazine Sometimes, it's worth taking a second and truly acknowledging how freaking nuts it is in South Florida.

Take, for example, today's paper.

First, the 'Transit Freak,' James Harris. Cops said he stole a bus, drove around South Beach picking up fares, got arrested, and then stole another bus as soon as he made bail.

Then there's the case of Delvin Lewis, who allegedly tried to shoot his girlfriend, led authorities on a 30-mile chase than ended in a shootout, claiming the life of Oozi the K-9.

Of course, the crime wave is a little understandable, given that some cops are accused of spending their time pumping information to drug dealers.

And other cops don't even know their kid is going on a county-wide crime spree.

Things could be worse, I guess. You could live in Port Charlotte, where they feed their kids pot.

Maybe Time magazine was on to something.

Posted by Adam Beasley at 08:41 AM on July 18, 2008 in Crime | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

If I had $1 million ... I'd make bail

Large_stevenpageAny late-20-something, early-30-something that went to college in the Northeast/Great Lakes knows somebody who played the Barenaked Ladies' live CD at least twice a day.

My freshman year roommate at Syracuse University was that man.

By sheer osmosis, I became a fan too. That was in 1998.

Fast-forward 10 years, and my, how the mighty have fallen.

Steven Page, the lead-singer of the band, was busted on drug charges last Friday. And get this -- the arrest came in a Syracuse suburb. Talk about full circle.

He's been charged with possession of cocaine, a felony in the Empire State.

UPDATE: The complaint can be found here.

Posted by Adam Beasley at 08:59 AM on July 16, 2008 in High Profile | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The robber had a familiar face

Pizza_2Talk about keeping it in the family.

A clerk at Pizza Patron slugged a robber, knocking off his wig and sunglasses.

That's when another clerk, Stephanie Martinez, realized the robber was her father.

The clerk's husband was in on the robbery along with her parents.

Police say Stephanie Martinez will not be charged and her husband claimed not to know they were robbing the spot where she worked.

"Her husband told us she didn't know. He knew they were going to rob someplace but he thought it was going to be a convenience store," police Sgt. James Brett said in a story in Monday's online editions of the Denton Record-Chronicle.   

Read the story here.

Posted by Jennifer Lebovich at 05:27 PM on July 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Trading a keyboard for a chef's knife

Cleaver Blog alert: Light posting will be coming from these fingers the rest of the week.

I'm trading in my day job as a newspaper reporter for a week working the line at one of Miami's top restaurants for an upcoming Food story. And keep in mind, I'm far from a professional chef. Those fingers I mentioned above might be significantly shortened and/or burned come week's end.

I'll post if I find an irresistibly salacious story for you. Barring that, expect to find me back here next week.

And if you stop in for a meal, make sure to order your meat medium-rare.

Posted by Evan Benn at 03:40 PM on July 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Drinking/driving -- bad; Drinking/driving/stealing -- worse

Jmbaker God knows I've done some ill-advised things after bending the elbow once too many, but can't say I ever did this:

According to the Tyler Morning Telegraph ...

A 25-year-old Texan gets good and bombed, steals guns from an acquaintance’s home, then while making his getaway, runs into the victim.

The man whose house was broken into had the wherewithal to keep the alleged thief chatting until cops showed up.

Inside the burglar's car, police found guns taken from the home.

Now, John Michael Baker faces drug, burglary and firearm charges.

And probably still has one hell of a hangover.

Posted by Adam Beasley at 12:53 PM on July 14, 2008 in Weird News | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Trip down memory lane with Dave Matthews

Davematthewsrca04 Sorry for the light posting this week, but I've been a little tied up.

Anyway, the weekend is upon us, and I'm gearing up for my annual Dave Matthews Band concert.

I'll be at the Cruzen/Sound Advice/Insert Corporate Sponsorship Here Amphitheatre Saturday night.

I'll be tailgating beforehand. If you want to grab a cold one, look for the guy on the top left.

Anyway, what does this have to do with crime?

Well, every time I go to a Dave show, my boss Casey Frank, a Chicagoan, brings up the time DMB's tour bus emptied its septic tank on the Kinzie Street bridge -- which has open grates.

The sightseers below were none too pleased.

See you next week.

Posted by Adam Beasley at 03:31 PM on July 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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