The 12 Craziest Things That Happened in Florida in 2013

Only in Florida. Every week, so many Americans mutter those words while marveling at the latest insanity to come from our state that Tallahassee really ought to put the phrase on license plates. At Miami New Times, at least a third of our work is done by those crazies. Although it helps that Florida has the most liberal public records laws in the United States, there wouldn't be any arrest reports to pull unless our fellow Floridians weren't supplying the system day and night with bizarre fodder.

To celebrate surviving another year of life in America's maddening tropical penis, we've compiled our annual list of the 12 biggest Florida face-palm moments of 2013. Have at it, maniacs.

1. The candy-related duck attack. Karie Lindgren's first gesture toward the duck was generous. The Tarpon Springs woman simply wanted to bequeath the gift of candy upon her neighbor's pet bird in November. Anyone who has ever tossed bits of bread around a pond knows ducks will eat just about anything. But the animals apparently lack a sweet tooth. Offended by the duck's rejection, Lindgren got in her car, drove across the neighbor's lawn, and turned the pet bird into roadkill. Unfortunately, neither the duck's name nor Lindgren's favored brand of candy made it into the police report.

Mark Poutenis

2. The job application bandit. "What do you consider your biggest flaw?" is the most impossible question on a job application, really, because if you answer honestly, you'll never get the gig. On the other hand, if you say, "Oh, I'm a workaholic," the employer will know you're a bullshitter right off the bat. When Anthony Thomas filled out a job application at an Ocala gas station in July, though, he chose a refreshingly straightforward approach: After filling out the paperwork, he put his klepto card right on the table and robbed the place. Police used the accurate contact information he'd written on the application to track the perp. What was Thomas' intent? Did he want to prove that he was a real go-getter? That when he saw an opportunity, he never ceased to literally reach out and take it? Probably not. But it is very possible that Thomas' "biggest flaw" is a profound lack of common sense.

3. Bamboo Flute's just-for-fun knife attack. June is a tough time for Gainesville's ­Rainbow People. The annual regional hippie gathering in the Ocala National Forest is a half-year away, and boredom runs high. This past summer, an 18-year-old named Bamboo Flute Blanchard picked up a knife and said, "I wonder what it would be like to take a life." He then stabbed his sleeping father in the chest. What's more, the feral child of the forest refused to speak to police when he was charged with attempted murder. He instead responded to their questioning with grunts.

4. Trayvon Martin Halloween blackface. If the Trayvon Martin shooting was the most tragic story to come out of Florida in 2012, last year's biggest mystery is why two buddies thought it was OK for one to don blackface and dress up like the Miami Gardens teen and the other to pose as his killer, George Zimmerman. It was a couple's costume, and the photo of it went viral, causing the friends to delete their Facebook accounts.

5. The acid-tripper who wanted to chop off his penis. Psychedelic drugs can birth some bizarre desires, like wanting to stare at one of those felt black-light paintings of a giant mushroom or listen to Phish. But when 19-year-old University of Florida student Michael Silecchia tripped on LSD in April, he was not in the mood for 19-minute guitar solos. Not only had he already tripped his balls off, but he also wanted his penis removed. After declaring himself "God," he demanded that Gainesville police officers castrate him. Before he was Tasered six times and hauled away in cuffs, Silecchia attacked a female officer, striking her in the head.

6. The man who wants to be a maxi pad. Pad Gardner wants to live his life as his namesake. For research purposes, he has stocked his Panama City pad full of pads. Gardner is the proud owner of more than a thousand sanitary napkins, which he photographs and admires. The hoarding seems almost practical, considering he probably belongs in a room with padded walls. The story of Gardner's truly unique life goal broke in April, and he appears to be sticking to the plan today. His Facebook profile picture is a fan drawing of a pink pad, and his job is listed as "feminine pad at feminine hygiene products." It's unclear if Pad has found anyone willing to let him fulfill his ultimate purpose: absorbing a woman's menstrual blood overnight.

7. A naked marriage proposal goes horribly wrong. With all the ruminating and planning that goes into a marriage proposal, it's easy to overlook some seemingly insignificant details. That's why Thomas Edwards showed up at a Casselberry family's house in June and began removing his clothes. You see, in his nervousness about possible rejection and the anxiety that comes from entering into a lifelong commitment, he'd forgotten where his girlfriend lived. Common mistake, really. Unfortunately, the family Edwards visited didn't show much sympathy. Cops showed up and Tasered the naked man.

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People up North don't know unless they've lived in Flordia for a while or actually even visited.  Police will arrest you for walking 2 blocks from a bar to your home even if you're not staggering or causing trouble.  The motto is, "you go to Florida (Daytona especially) on vacation, leave on probation, and come back  on  violation."  And if you're arrested wrongly, you are on a kind of probation called pre-trial release even if you're innocent,  basically,  so that they can put  you in jail if you have pot in your system, etc, even  though the original charges were dropped.  This is well known by those who've lived there for a bit.  And that's why springbreakers go now to the carribbean.  Daytona alone has tons of rapes at spring break which are not publicized.  So if you ever get a ticket, etc,  do not ignore it, they will expedite you even as far away as maine and minnesota.  Most of the people who lived there were transient and on crack, and most since I've left back to PA are either dead or in jail.  Really! 


Re. the weird story of the inaptly named Bamboo Blanchard, I see a Gainesville mugshot of young Blanchard posted 12/10/13 with a notation that he is being held for first degree premeditated murder.  Did he in fact go through with killing father???


They'll take your kids if you have an argument with your husband, if someone makes up a lie, etc.  If you have tested positive for pot and you've got kids, well, forget the kids, they take em, you don't have a relationship with them, it's all over.  They are whacko.  Here in PA, a person can completely neglect their kids (unfortunately) and the system does NOTHING.  Be careful in florida.  It is no joke.


Oh, and if you are arrested with pot in your system, DO NOT go into DRUG court, you'll never get out, your life is done!  Believe it!

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