This is a very special week in "WTF Florida" history. This is the week that the state has become self aware. Not only did an actual real life political polling firm decided to test the approval rating of "Florida Man" among Florida voters, a man who got arrested while naked shouted at police "I'm famous now." Yes indeed, it is a very meta installment of WTF Florida.
Florida Man Becomes Self Aware
Out in Los Angeles, they like to joke that a dried-up celebrity has become so un-famous that they couldn't even get arrested in that town. Thanks to the media's obsession with Floridians odd shenanigans it's the other way around. You get arrested down here in some odd fashion and you wind up famous. At least in some Andy Warhol-fashion 15 minutes sense. The odd thing is that few criminals in Florida seem to know that when they get arrested for whatever bizarre stunt they've pulled. So props to Antuan Anderson, a 32-year-old of Fort Pierce, for at least being self aware enough to know his arrest would make the media rounds.
Back on March 11, St. Lucie County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a call informing that a man was shirtless and jumping up and down on a car. A female deputy arrived and Anderson responded by banger on her car, attempting to jump on it, and pulling off a windshield wiper. The officer pulled a gun on him and told him to get down on the ground. He did, but not before taking off his clothes completely. When they tried to detain him he began struggling and yelled, "I’m famous now, look at what I did.”
At that point police weren't even totally aware of all that Anderson had done.
"Investigators found several mailboxes damaged and a stop sign and pole ripped from the ground. A drain grate cover was out of place; garbage cans and bags were strewn about; and a metal fence and fence posts were scattered around," reports Off The Beat. "Officers later were told of additional damage, including a vandalized or damaged light fixture, fence and windshield wipers. Anderson also is accused of denting the roof of a car and ripping away a basketball hoop."
He now faces charges of criminal mischief and resisting and officer with violence. He also had two outstanding warrants. But at least he's now famous enough to be our top WTF Florida story of the week.
"Florida Man" Has Relatively Good Approval Ratings in Florida
Of course, one of the big reasons Florida criminals become famous in the first place is the @_FloridaMan, a popular Twitter account that tweets out "Florida Man ..." headlines like all those bizarre adventures were conducted by the same person, indeed "the world's worst superhero."
Well, occasionally cheeky political firm Public Policy Polling decided to find out what Florida Man's approval ratings were among real life Floridians. "Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Florida Man?" they asked.
Turns out 19 percent of Floridians have a favorable opinion of Florida Man, while only 4 percent do not. Seventy-eight percent said they didn't have an opinion. Turns out, however, there was a huge split among the demographics. The pollsters found 47 percent of those between 18 and 29 have a favorable opinion of ol' Florida Man, while only 2 percent disapproved. And 85 percent of those 65 and older said they had no idea who or what he was. Democrats and liberals were also more likely to have heard (and approve) of Florida Man than Republicans and conservatives. Blacks and Hispanics also much higher praise for Florida Man than whites. In fact, 27 percent of African American like Florida Man, compared to just 2 percent who did not.
What's scary is that Florida Man has higher favorability split than our actual Gov. Rick Scott, whose ratings remain underwater.
Couple Busted for Public Sex Near Playground
What's the old saying? "If the playground is a swingin', please don't try and put your thing in?" Right. Well, in any event Shane Johnson, 38, and Danielle Stager, 26, apparently had not heard that wisdom, or much of any common wisdom at all. The duo was spotted going at it right near a playground full of young children.
Police say the pair was spotted with pants off about 200 feet from a playground in Greenacres last Friday. Children, all between the ages of 8 and 10 years old, told police that they saw what was going down. However, by the time police arrived, Johnson and Stager had moved to a pickup truck. Police found them still going at it with Stager's feet hanging out the front door.
"Shane, we are going to jail," Stager reportedly said. Indeed she was right where they posed for these beautiful mugshots. Though neither had the foresight to know that they would be "famous."
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.