Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Looking back to look ahead: Threat assessment 2009

Sometimes the work just becomes too much. Sorting through dozens of Google news alerts on an hourly basis, scanning the RSS feeds of various news outlets in Florida, working my network of get the idea. I end up with more source material than time to share it with you.

Consider this post a new year grab bag of menace and freakery, a loose collection of items that caught my attention but that didn't make their way onto these pages. Until now. Or maybe it's more of a big, greasy buffet--feel free to take your time, leave for a while, and come back later for more. Take some time and follow a few of the links. There's a lot here, and you probably won't feel too good if you consume it all at once.

If the brave new science of narcozoology tells us anything, it's that anecdotal evidence is usually the best evidence. This allows yours truly to boldly identify future trends and threats based on the vast sweep of my prior research.

Here we go...


We begin in Florida. In addition to being afflicted by alligator attacks, plagues of walking fish, pythons and insect infestation, Florida is now a hot zone for two emerging crime patterns:

1) Hammer vs edged weapon duels: The first incident was reported here in October 2008, when an argument between two men escalated. One man grabbed a hammer and started swinging; his opponent grabbed a letter opener and stabbed away. The stabber came out on top.

Now, in a stunning development, a similar incident has been reported in Panama City Beach. This contest ended in a draw--James Allen Spray suffered head injuries at the hands of hammer-wielder Richard Charles Burger, but in turn inflicted knife wounds on the stomach of Mr. Burger.

2) Food as weapon: While arguments over food frequently result in domestic battery in sun-baked, crack addled Florida, there have been several recent incidents in which food is not the subject of the fight, but rather the weapon used to win it. Three such incidents were reported within a two-week period between November 18 and December 3, 2008:

Meet 19 year old Emmanuel Rodriguez.

Mr. Rodriguez got in an argument with his baby mama after she picked Mr. Rodriguez up at his mom's house. Baby mama was driving, and their 7 month old child was asleep in the back seat. The couple argued, and Mr. Rodriguez hit baby mama in the face with a sandwich, knocking her glasses off and almost causing her to crash the car. Mr. Rodriguez told police he threw the sandwich at her because he didn't want to hit her.

Happy Thanksgiving, bitch!

46 year old Christopher Ford of Hobe Sound, Florida, was not making a political statement with his pie throwing.

On Thanksgiving day Mr. Ford was unhappy with the food that had been prepared by his live-in girlfriend of seven years. In order to express his displeasure he picked up a delicious, but piping hot, sweet potato pie and threw it in the victim's face, burning her. He ran off when her teenage children came out of their rooms to investigate and was arrested later.

Victor Gonzalez, 22, of Vero Beach, repeatedly smashed a McDonald's cheeseburger into his girlfriend's face during an argument.

**Note: There was an apparently unrelated incident in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in June 2008. In that case 40 year old Frederick McKaney stabbed his mother when she wouldn't give him money. He rode away on his bicycle and

"A short time later, he encountered two other women talking on the sidewalk on Woodbridge Street. The woman said he said something nasty to them and hit one of them over the head with 10 pounds of frozen chicken."

Some citizens in Florida are turning to cougar ownership (the four-legged kind) as a crime deterrent. A 70 pound pet cougar named "Chaos" mauled a 16 year old girl when her male companion burglarized the house the where the cougar lived, and brought a girlfriend inside to show off the cat.

I'm thinking of giving an annual "PREPARED AMERICAN" award to honor people who best exemplify that plucky can-do American survivalist spirit. A couple years back a veteran named Dale Rippy was attacked by a wild bobcat. Enduring the animal's biting and clawing, he managed to grab the beast by its throat and choke it to death. Now joining Mr. Rippy in the SRC Hall of Prepared American Heroes is Arizona hiker Michelle Felicetta.

Ms. Felicetta was hiking near Prescott when she was confronted in the trail by a fox. When she saw the blood lust in the creature's eyes she tried to back away, but the fox attacked. It attacked her foot, and then sank its fangs into her arm. Did Ms. Felicetta panic? HELL NO SHE DIDN'T! She grabbed the fox in a chokehold and ran a mile back to her car, with the fox hanging from her arm by its fangs. She pried the fox loose, wrapped it in a sweatshirt and trapped it in the trunk of her car so she could get it tested for rabies. The fox was rabid, by the way.

The Arizona incident was merely one in a brutal series of rabid fox attacks sweeping the nation. 66 year old Margaret Burhenn of Spottsylvania, Virginia, was ambushed in her own back yard and nearly chewed to pieces by a marauding rabid fox. An intrepid neighbor killed the beast with a shovel. Authorities reported that this was the third such incident in that region between January and May.

It goes without saying that nature hates us. While animals (except for alligators and certain exotic pets, of course) do not require the same high level of vigilance as, say, clowns or furries, they still bear watching. The following incidents might be seen by some as proof that the end times draw nearer.

In April 2008 over 70 Mexican police were hospitalized after a swarm of Africanized killer bees attacked their firearms range. Authorities suspect that Mexico's violent drug lords might have been behind the attack, raising the specter of killer Africanized narco-bees.

A group of Russian geologists was besieged by a platoon of over 30 hungry bears.

Mountain lions attempted to take advantage of the chaos caused by the fox attacks, and launched deadly missions of their own. The attempted cougar invasion of Chicago in April was well-publicized. The 150 pound scout cougar infiltrated the north side of Chicago after working its way south through the north suburbs. It died in a hail of police gunfire before it could inflict any human casualties. Less well-publicized was the stealthy attack launched by a ninja panther against a rural home in Newton County, Missouri. That effort also ended badly for the panther:

Panther Shot, Killed After Attacking Home

And now, back to Florida.

In addition to everything else, Florida now has a monkey problem as well. Troops of feral monkeys are rampaging through Polk County, Florida.
There are two great quotes in this story:

"People don't know what they are," said Wehrmann, a St. Petersburg veterinarian. "People think they are squirrels."

"You don't think about monkeys in this part of Florida," said Clark, a retired agriculture teacher from Plant City High School.
Ok...first, your average Floridian can't tell the difference between a squirrel and a monkey. Second, monkeys in "this" part of Florida might be unusual? As opposed to all the other parts of Florida, where presumably they're just scampering around just as common as...uh...squirrels?

Walmart should have known they had a problem as far back as July 2006, when a wheelchair-bound man was bitten by a pygmy rattlesnake at the Sanford, Florida Walmart. I cannot believe that their failure to deal with their venomous insect and reptile problem has not resulted in a class-action lawsuit.

This should not surprise any regular reader of this blog, but naked people continued to be one of the most serious threats of 2008. I expect this trend to continue, unabated, in 2009.

Legless, naked and drunk is no way to drive a car. Just ask John E. Carlon, who was arrested in Youngstown, Ohio in August after crashing into a couple of cars, while driving drunk and naked from the waist down. Perhaps he wasn't wearing pants because he doesn't have any legs. The report does not say.

Meet Holly Kay Highfield:

This picture was taken while Ms. Highfield was in the custody of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. While driving an SUV with three kids in it, she deliberately rammed a bicyclist. She then got into another car that had stopped to help the bicyclist, and smashed into her own car. At some point a 14 year old boyscout rescued the kids who were in Ms. Highfield's auto. Ms. Highfield then smashed the carjacked car into a fence, got out, and ran around in circles disrobing until she was naked. She fought with several officers, and remarkably enough did not get tasered.

Alcohol was involved.

This guy gives Bubs a bad name:

Mr. Bub Bamford, of Anderson, California, crashed his car on "Balls Ferry Road". He abandoned his car, and his injured passenger, and took off running. Bub was found by police hiding in a rosebush. Naked. Drunk.

An unknown man in Santa Ana, California, crashed his van into another car and drove away. When the police caught up with him he almost backed into the patrol car, and then refused to show his hands or exit the vehicle. After he was tasered, the cops discovered he was also naked.

Japanese police are, evidently, less likely to taser the naked. A bald white tourist threw rocks and charged police with a large stick before jumping into the moat in front of the Imperial Palace. Click here for the story and video hilarity.

This is a "wizzer" saw. Firefighters in Newburgh, New York, were called to a local hospital, and used one of these to cut a length of steel pipe off of an unknown 73-year old man's penis. In an example of wonderful emergency services understatement, "Authorities said the pipe was apparently an erotic aid, but did not elaborate".

I've always thought of Australians as being a lot like American rednecks, but with a different accent. They certainly hold their own in the naked/drunk/reckless category compared to their American cousins:

An unknown Australian was arrested after repeatedly exposing himself, and firing a nail gun at passing motor vehicles.

Here is a new favorite headline, courtesy of The Daily Telegraph:

Driver abuses speed limit, and himself, court told

In brief: 39 year old Brendon Alan Erhardt, father of three, was stopped for driving 93 miles per hour. He was masturbating and video recording himself as he did so. In his car he had 5 kilograms of weed, two cannabis plants, some drug pipes and a loaded .22 rifle that he claimed he was using to shoot at passing kangaroos. He claimed to have found the weed at a rest stop, and said he was going to smoke it all himself. No self-taping high speed jerkoff artist would want anyone to think he's a common dope dealer.

Christmas season in Florida:

Roy Ronald Rowell, Jr. of Destin was arrested after exposing himself to a family as they walked their dog on Christmas day. Roy used the old "hole cut out of the crotch of the running pants" technique, and got the victims' attention by saying "nice dog." Roy also exposed himself to the cop who arrived to arrest him.

43 year old Roderick Woodruff, transient, got his drink on at the beach in Siesta Key, and decided to expose himself to several women and children in the area. When police arrived he stripped totally naked, said that he didn't have to do what the police told him to since it was a public beach, and then threatened to kill the deputy. Here's his booking photo from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. Does this look like a drunk weenie-waver to you?


Carrying the crazy into the new year is Provo, Utah resident Heather Lynn Best:

Heather went on a "nude rampage" involving broken dishes and furniture, an exotic bird, the neighbors and a fight with the cops. Methamphetamine.

Heather is now the second naked, rampaging woman from Utah to be featured here. In July, Rachel Joann Hanson was mentioned as part of Weenie Waver Wednesday!

Then there's just the creepy. Not weenie wavers, drunks, or dope fiends or any combination of that. These are the people compelled by forces they don't comprehend, doing whatever the demons rattling around in their heads tell them to do.

People like:

Columbus, Ohio resident Alan D. Patton. Urine collector.

Ben Hawkins, 44, of Cincinnati. Underwear researcher.

Dmitriy Sklyarov, self-professed white supremacist, who left 13 bitemarks on a 9 year old child left in his care, and called a local high school to announce that he had placed black magic spells that would cause death for their teachers.

Stamford, Connecticut janitor Felicito Gonzalez, cheapskate and voyeur, who positioned a cell phone in a basket of toilet paper to take pictures of women in a train station restroom.

Hilariously-named Wesley Cox, 44, of Boulder, Colorado, freak and voyeur. Cox was caught trying to videotape his neighbors through their window. A subsequent search warrant discovered "a myriad of underwear and other items of clothing, including Boulder High School cheerleading outfits."

Make-believe dentist Carlos Flores of Peekskill, New York, who got arrested for running a fake dental practice and possession of controlled substances, while using tools like this to work on his "patients":


I'm not going to go into the clown stuff now. Y'all have put up with enough of that in the past couple of days, and I don't want to lose readers. Alligators will get their own post in the near future.

Let's all take a deep breath, draw our shoulders back and greet the coming year with hope, fortitude and CONSTANT VIGILANCE.


The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Oh, the old 'hole in the crotch of the running pants' gag! Hilarious!

SkylersDad said...

This is a wonderful update Bubs, and as far as the folks who are keeping cougars and pumas for protection, may I present this...

Anonymous said...

You know, I was out late last night walking the trails, and I didn't really think much about the coyotes barking and yipping in the bushes just beyond me. I wonder if I could run to my truck with one attached to my arm?

Mathman6293 said...

They are all so worthy.

Distributorcap said...

you are so much better than our newscasts here in NY

Cap'n Ergo "XL" Jinglebollocks said...

Bubs, what would we do w/o you? It's a thankless, exhausting job to keep up w/all of this stuff, but you do it, and I'm grateful!! (cuz when I think MY life's gone down the shitter...!!)

Lisa said...

That's quite a whacko spread indeed. I guffawed over it, causing MathMan to raise his eyebrows repeatedly at me.

Now I'm back for seconds. And to tell you that Hi. I've tagged you with a meme. I hope you don't mind. If you do mine, blame Beth. She started it.

I'm going to take my pants off and run down the street now.

Cormac Brown said...

Good Lord, I had to break off after the kid hitting with the women with chickens, this is like five posts worth of material!

Dino aka Katy said...

that reminds me - I went and took some time assessing the Alligator situation on Pine Island florida last weekend and it seems they are being domesticated I encountered several residents that mentioned having alligators "contained" in their man made lakes and even feeding them. No python sightings on my end

Randal Graves said...

You really do meet the most interesting people at your place.

justacoolcat said...

Jeebus, what a line up.

Hit with a sandwich?

Assault with a breadly weapon?

dguzman said...

Bubs, just when I thought I couldn't laugh any harder, I read "While animals (except for alligators and certain exotic pets, of course) do not require the same high level of vigilance as, say, clowns or furries, they still bear watching." I pretty much lost it at that point.

Your news broadcasts are so much better than anything on TV, radio, or the intertubes. It's all crazy, all the time.

Doc said...

I agree with dguzman, it's all crazy, all the time, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

I noticed that Ohio kept showing up. Perhaps it's time for "Germany, Florida, and Ohio" contests. We don't have the monopoly on crazy, but we have our fair share.


Cormac Brown said...

"Legless, naked and drunk, is no way to drive a car."

Can't you just hear the ghost of the guy who played Dean Wormer in "Animal House" saying that?

"Heather went on a "nude rampage" involving broken dishes and furniture, an exotic bird, the neighbors, and a fight with the cops."

If she left the meth and the cops out, she could've called it performance art.

Bubs said...

Cormac, right? Shades of Karen Finley.

Doc, I'm glad you noticed that. I am going to give Ohio its own label now, right alongside Wisconsin and Florida. I'm not quite ready to proclaim it "the Florida of the rust belt" yet. Ohio does have (I'm pretty sure) the highest number of alligator stories outside the south.

DGuzman, thank you!

Coolcat--"assault with a BREADLY weapon"!?! Perfect!

Randal, you betcha!

Dino--were you near Bokeelia, at that Pine Island? On of my favorite state parks is right there--Cayo Costa. An absolutely beautiful, almost deserted, beach.

Lisa, good luck with the naked running around. Please try not to end up as next week's story. I'll get to the meme this weekend.

Cap'n, my daughter said that's one of my functions in life--to provide negative examples and cautionary tales to others, and make people feel less messed-up in comparison.

DC, you would think that NYC, with its size and diversity, would provide so many more freakish stories than it does. Do you think your local media is covering up the truth?

Mathman, yes they are.

Kirby, as I recall you once escaped from a room using a pocket knife? You'd be fine.

Skylers Dad--WTF? I'd love to know the story behind that. Was that taken outside the Star Wars bar?

Imaginary Reviewer, welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

Freida of the Bees said...

It's nice to see they gave Bub a wifebeater to wear for his prison pic. I, personally, love hanging around in my rosebushes in the nude, and I think I'm going to prison-marry that guy who was video-taping himself masturbating while driving with his gun and his weed. I think he has the makings of a fine husband, if I could only change him.

Freida of the Bees said...

FYI Bubs- I think you should be proud of yourself. I yahoo searched "weenie waver" for blog-fodder pics, of course, and your blog appears second only to The Urban Dictionary. An esteemed accomplishment, indeed.

Dale said...

Holy feck Bubs! That's a lot of assholery going on right there. I laughed so hard at your line about animals that bear watching.

Anonymous said... would be right at home here on Long Island. We put the "fun" in dysfunctional.

Bubs said...

Spartacus, my family used to live in Port Washington, and one of my brothers was born in Manhasset.

Dale, thank you! There certainly was a lot of it, wasn't there?

Freida, that's wonderful news--thanks for the heads-up. As for your assessment of the Aussie jerkoff artist...perfect. I laughed so hard coffee came through my nose when I read that last line: "if only I could change him." Heh...I meet women like that about 5 or 6 times a month on average.

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