A lot of weird stuff happens in Florida. It's a state where, apparently, you can't work as a pizza delivery driver, bank teller, or politician without getting accosted by creeps and weirdos at any hour of the day. So every Friday, we're here to remind you that Florida will find you, no matter what profession you choose.
Judge Bans Florida Man From Ordering More Pizza
You know that Key & Peele sketch where Jordan Peele wears a fat suit and orders a pizza for his fake girlfriend just to feel a small sense of happiness in the otherwise cavernous void that is his personal life? (And also just because he was hungry?)
Randy Riddle is that guy, except about 200 percent creepier.
Florida's judges are already overwhelmed enough as it is — on Wednesday, an Indian River County judge was forced to take time out of his busy schedule to deal with Riddle, 49, who had apparently been calling so many pizzerias in Sebastian, where he lives, to harass them that the State of Florida actually had to issue an edict banning Riddle from ever ordering pizza again.
According to police, his harassment scheme was fairly complex: From May 30 to June 18, Riddle called multiple pizzerias from at least five phone numbers simply to mess with them. He would order pizza and then refuse to pay. He would direct delivery drivers to fake or nonexistent addresses. And what's creepiest, he would sometimes call just to tell restaurants that their pizza was "gross," which ranks just below "person calling simply to breathe into the phone" on the running tally of "Reasons to Immediately Call the Cops."
Sebastian restaurateurs say that Riddle's pizza pranks cost them $667 and that police actually had to circulate fliers to warn the public about him. (He'd also been convicted of phone-harassment charges eight years ago in Vero Beach.)
If he calls any of the same restaurants again, he'll end up in jail.
Toothless Woman Softly Asks to Rob Bank; Bank Calmly Says No
On Monday, Jacksonville Police arrested 68-year-old Barbra Crawford Stratton after, cops say, she attempted to rob a Regions Bank using one of the only methods Steven Soderbergh has yet to portray in the Ocean's Eleven series: She just straight-up asked the bank for money.
No weapons. No knives. Nothing. Just a polite, toothless woman holding up a bank using her gumption and stick-to-itiveness.
On August 3, police say, Stratton strolled into the bank, walked up to a teller, and handed her a piece of paper demanding some money. A co-worker then confronted Stratton, who "replied in a soft voice" that her daughter had allegedly "been kidnapped."
Perhaps impressed by Stratton's assertiveness, bank employees just sort of said no and told her to leave. Which she did — in a taxi.
Dueling Scumbags Somehow Show Up at Clinton and Trump Rallies in the Same Seat
When it comes to Florida, it's rare to be incredulous about strange happenings. Nonnative pythons magically show up inside people's homes. Someone built a 100-foot statue of Pegasus beating the pulp out of a scared-looking dragon in Hallandale Beach. Yadda, yadda, crystal meth, yadda.
So when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump held dueling campaign rallies in Florida this week, and notoriously terrible people attended both events, and both of those awful human beings somehow sat in the same, on-camera position behind the candidates just days apart from each other, New Times gets to ask a question rarely justified in Florida journalism: How in hell did this happen?
This past Monday, Clinton held a campaign rally in Kissimmee, and Seddique Mateen, father of Pulse nightclub Shooter Omar Mateen, sat smiling right behind her on national television while wearing a suspiciously red hat. When a local TV reporter asked Mateen why he had shown up, he simply said, "It’s a Democratic party, so everyone can join.”
Mike Pence, Trump's running mate, immediately latched on to Mateen's appearance as a sign that Clinton will somehow aid and abet terrorists, and claimed the media was ignoring Mateen's appearance despite the fact that virtually every national media outlet reported on it the next morning.
As if that weren't odd enough, things rocketed into conspiracy-theory territory at Wednesday's Trump rally in Sunrise. There, seated (at least according to camera angles) in the exact same spot Mateen sat, was disgraced Florida Rep. Mike Foley, who resigned from his congressional seat in 2006 after getting caught sending lewd text messages to an underage male campaign staffer.
When Trump turned around and asked the crowd, "How many of you people know me?" Foley smiled and waved back.
The internet has exploded over this in the past few days. Both Mateen and Foley claim to have shown up at the respective rallies on their own, which is exactly what paid Clinton/Trump plants would say, isn't it? So, was this a House of Cards-style game of one-upsmanship and sabotage or simply a tacit reminder that God accidentally electrocuted himself the day he created Florida? We may never know.
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