The most difficult part of Florida Man Friday is selecting each week’s top story. A typical week starts with at least 50 open browser tabs, each containing a story of absurd criminality or dangerous wildlife or naked people or even naked people committing absurd crimes against dangerous wildlife.
Picking each week’s top story is an embarrassment of riches with the accent on embarrassment.
This week is no different. In fact, there’s such a rich collection of stories to choose from for the top spot that I’m actually behind schedule today, and…
#BREAKING: Andrew Gillum was in an "inebriated state" on scene of "possible drug overdose" at Mondrian South Beach Hotel early this morning with "clear plastic baggies containing suspected crystal meth," according to @MiamiBeachPD report pic.twitter.com/4tWzkdU4GL
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) March 13, 2020
If early reports pan out, this Florida Man Story has everything except a live shark hiding under the hotel bed:
• A waterfront hotel
• The world’s smallest gay orgy
• Illegal drugs
• Presumably naked people
• An overdose
• Fire rescue
• The former mayor of Tallahassee and onetime candidate for governor
More from the Tallahassee Democrat:
Paramedics were treating Dyson at the time for a possible overdose. Gillum was too inebriated to speak with officers, though he was later reported in stable condition with normal vital signs.
Police found plastic baggies of suspected crystal meth on the bed and floor of the hotel room, the report says. But Gillum, in a prepared statement issued shortly after news broke, denied using the drug and offered an apology.
OK, Andy. Sure.
No arrests have been made. It’s good to be a high-ranking Florida Man.
Still, choosing this week’s top story wasn’t all that easy, when you consider what you’re about to see in the Number Two position.
Just Another Monday at Publix
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shoplifting incident at the Publix at 4950 Belle Terre Parkway at 7 p.m.
They came into contact with a man who was later identified as Leroy Stotelmyer, 60, who was caught trying to exit the store with two boxes of potatoes and a grouper fillet.
Deputies say when the Publix Loss Prevention Officer stopped him, Stotelmyer stated he didn’t have to pay for the items and identified himself as a U.S. Marshal. Stotelmyer then placed the shopping bag on the ground and exited the store.
When the Loss Prevention Officer then approached Stotelmyer in his vehicle in the parking lot, they say Stotelmyer displayed a gold badge in a black holder that read “United States Marshal” on it.
Bold move, Cotton.
Be Afraid; Be Very Afraid
No fooling, she was almost close enough to grab a selfie with it.
Must-see video at the link, but first:
Conny Randolph, a photographer with Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery, came across the giant gator this past weekend in Everglades off Tamiami Trail.
As Randolph recorded video of the reptile, nicknamed “Snaggletooth,” she said, “I’m going to back up a little bit.”
Moments later, the gator could be heard making clicking and hissing noises.
When I heard her say “I’m going to back up a little bit” as the snaggletoothed gator is coming right at her, I actually said out loud to myself, “Ya think?”
You Meet the Nicest People Getting Arrested
View this post on Instagram
You know what they say – there is no such thing as a routine call for service (or traffic stop). Read: “Last night, Mulberry Deputies Smith, Durrance, and Trainee Harrison stopped this motorcyclist for speeding on Church Ave in Mulberry. He had a large knife concealed on his person, as well as heroin, drug paraphernalia, and other Rx and controlled substances. Ultimately, he was arrested for 3 felonies and 2 misdemeanors and requested to speak to a supervisor. Sergeant Hearth spoke to the man, who stated he wanted to express how polite and professional all the Deputies had been during the arrest, and how much he appreciated all the courtesy and respect they showed to him. He posed for a quick photo before his transport & asked to have the photo emailed to him so he could post it on his Facebook page when he got released.” Now if that ain’t excellent customer service, we don’t know what is. #polksheriff #prideinservice #saycheese
Local police will be telling this story for years: “Remember the time we arrested that guy who wasn’t naked and didn’t try to bite us or steal our cruiser? Good times.”
Everybody Needs a Hobby
“Nothin’. Just about to stick my head in this gator is all.”
Don’t try to tell me Florida isn’t different.
News Brief: Only in Florida
• Florida Man arrested in New England gas pump skimming scheme. (Who the hell leaves Florida in winter for Maine?)
And now, back to our regularly scheduled news…
Dog Lovers Will Understand
South Florida woman reunited with one of her lost dogs after being scammed
Miami Dade Animal Services has the dog.
“I get there, and she said I have to pay $160, and I said, ‘I don’t care. I’ll pay the $160. I just want my dog.'”https://t.co/xoD9M3Y494
— Steven Shulman (@MyUncleGloria) March 6, 2020
First, she lost her dogs. Then, she was scammed by someone who claimed to have them, but now, there is some good news and a reunion that came very close to not happening. Brian Entin has this update in 7 Investigates.
Victoria Blanco: “I love you, baby. I love you, too. Yeah!”
This is what Victoria Blanco has been waiting for, for months.
She is finally reunited with her Rottweiler named Monster after he dug out of her Hialeah backyard back in December.
Victoria Blanco, reunited with one of her lost dogs: “It’s amazing. Last night, I went to sleep, and I was like, ‘I hope this is not a dream, and I wake up, and he’s not here,’ but I woke up, and he’s here!”
I’m not crying — you’re crying.
Even Drunk, Florida Man’s Instincts Are Solid
There but for the grace of God…
Authorities said it took some time to wake the man up as he slept comfortably in his car early Saturday morning on West Highway 200.
One deputy parked their patrol car bumper-to-bumper with the driver’s car in case he took his foot off the brake.
When Oduardo-Rodriguez woke up, deputies said he tried to drive away instead of follow commands to put his car in park.
Deputies had to smash the car window to put the car in park.
Oduardo-Rodriguez blew a .195 during a roadside breathalyzer test, more than twice the legal limit in Florida. He’s facing charges of driving under the influence.
Technically, they only caught him parked under the influence.
Very Tangentially Related: I once owned a ’79 Pinto named “Parker” because sitting there not moving was what it did best.
It’s Always in the Last Place You… Never Mind
— Florida Man (@FloridaMan__) March 6, 2020
Exactly when is lost in the mists of time, but at some point Florida Woman got it in her brain that Florida police are somehow oddly breast-averse and would never, ever look inside a bra to see if there were any drugs stashed in there.
The Most Magical Place on Earth
Florida Man was caught using the stolen credit card of a dead man and was then seen trying to eat the card to destroy evidence before he was questioned by deputies, according to an arrest report.
Orange County deputies said they were called to Disney Springs Monday for the report of a man trying to purchase jewelry and gift cards with a fraudulent debit card.
When they arrived, deputies said they saw Jose Herrera, 27, detained by Disney security, making strange movements with his hand inside his pocket. Upon investigation, deputies said they found a baggie of a white powdery substance in Herrera’s pocket.
After a week like this, if I saw a guy doing that in his pocket and it only turned out to be cocaine I’d be pretty darned relieved.
Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got Nobody
— New York Post (@nypost) March 13, 2020
The Newsweek report says, and I quote, “It wasn’t clear why the man was naked and throwing rocks.”
As if getting naked and throwing rocks weren’t reason enough.
Meanwhile, in France…
Because of course there’s a record kept for the number of people gathered dressed as Smurfs:
The event came a day before the country banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people in an effort to contain the coronavirus.
The mayor of Landerneau, Patrick Leclerc, defended the gathering, saying it was necessary levity in a time of “ambient gloom.”
“We must not stop living … it was the chance to say that we are alive” Leclerc said to AFP on Tuesday. “We figured that a bit of fun would do us all good at the moment.”
3,500 Smurfs and, presumably, one Smurfette — if that.
The story of thousands of Smurf re-enactors getting together in France one last time before we all die of the Kung Flu can mean only one thing: Florida Man has just one week to reclaim his crown of glory in time for the next exciting episode of…