As a follower and writer on criminal law, this author often reports on strange criminal law stories from the state of Florida. These are some of my favorite old 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 conducted a a series of warrantless raids on local Orlando barber shops that made history by arresting 35 people for misdemeanor “barber without a license” after spending several months investigating the matter. A record check revealed that in the past ten years only three people in the entire state of Florida had been sent to jail on such charges. In current cases, many of the warrantless raids implicated officers trespassing on hair salons with children inside and handcuffing 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 pistol. We further learn that all the hair salons were in the African American and Hispanic neighborhoods.
This surprising report makes one wonder if these neighborhoods are known to be hotbeds of “criminal hair salon.”
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 raged naked. Police report the 21-year-old man ran barefoot from the back of his home to a home a few blocks away, smashed a sliding glass door and ransacked the home. He then stripped off his clothes, defecated on the floor and ripped the oven door off its hinges, according to Pasco County officials. In another house, a woman came home to find the naked man stained with blood, sleeping on his sofa. He called 911. According to a 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 robbery.
The headline of this little story could have read: “Loko Gone Loco.” It is probably best to stay away from this dangerous product.
Hernando County Jail, Florida: 2011. Strange things happen in jail. An inmate in Hernando County did not have enough honey buns to pay off a gambling debt and was punched in the face. The inmate admitted that he lost a soccer bet with a fellow inmate. The bet loser said he went to the bet winner’s cell to give him the bear claws he owed, but four honey sticks were missing. The winner of the bet was not happy about being rigid in the bet and hit the loser so hard that he had to be hospitalized. Yes, the winner of the bet and the kicker. He was arrested on a battery charge.
If this had been a casino game, the bet loser might have bet: I’ll see your one bear claw and raise four honey buns for you …