A lot of weird things happen in Florida every week. On Fridays, we're here to bring you the weirdest. This week: a Florida sheriff who's just gonna settle this whole FBI-versus-Apple thing himself, a high-school pep rally stunt that went up in flames, and a woman's fight to keep her pet gator.
Florida Woman Fights to Keep Her Pet Gator
"Rambo is my life. Since my son died, he's the only thing that's kept me going," Florida woman Mary Thorn told the Independent. "He was raised as a human, not as an alligator. At 4 o'clock, he's at the dinner table eating dinner with me."
The State of Florida, however, wants to take Rambo away from Thorn.
Thorn acquired the gator seven years ago when the reptile was about a foot long. He had been rescued after living in a small tank that was in a dark room without any sunlight. Rambo has since grown into a six-foot adult gator, and in the meantime, Florida passed a law requiring anyone who keeps a full-grown gator in captivity to have at least 2.5 acres of land.
Thorn says she sleeps in the same bed as Rambo at night, and she often dresses him in human clothes and sunglasses. Thorn says his eyes and skin are too sensitive to normal sunlight. She claims he also likes to go for rides on his ATV.
She worries that Rambo is too domesticated now and couldn't survive in any other habitat.
"This is a very complex case, especially since she acquired the gator before some changes in permit conditions," Bob Morse of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told ABC News.
The agency had originally denied Thorn's request to update her permit to keep Rambo, but the agency continues to reevaluate the case.
Polk County Sheriff Threatens to Lock Apple CEO Up
The standoff between the FBI and Apple CEO Tim Cook over iPhone security is a complicated matter, but don't worry — Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is here to figure it all out. The Central Florida lawman is just gonna put Cook in jail the first chance he gets.
"I can tell you, the first time we do have trouble getting into a cell phone, we're going to seek a court order from Apple. And when they deny us, I'm going to go lock the CEO of Apple up," Judd said at a news conference this week. "I'll lock the rascal up."
The FBI has asked Apple to rewrite a version if its iOS so the agency can crack into an iPhone that belonged to the San Bernardino, California shooters. The feds have promised they'd use it only once for this case only and never again.
Judd stepped into the argument during a news conference to announce his department's arrest of five men in a brutal murder. He says the investigation was made easier because the department was able to access the men's cell phones. However, the suspects voluntarily turned over their passcodes.
But the sheriff is just itching for the chance to get a court order, which he thinks will allow him to take a stand and arrest Cook.
Though, the FBI has not asked Cook and Apple for an iPhone security workaround that could be used by local police departments.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Performer at High-School Pep Rally Catches Fire
At a pep rally at Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach, students were treated to a show involving a baton-twirling fire-eater yesterday. Unfortunately, the stunt went awry, and the performer caught fire in the middle of the high-school gym.
DUDE JUST CAUGHT ON FIRE AT OUR PEP RALLY!!! ADD ME ON SNAPCHAT KINGSOSA300 pic.twitter.com/trKYFfv7pV— Anthony (@SolJah13) March 17, 2016
The performer was airlifted to a hospital and was listed in stable condition.
Seven students were treated for smoke inhalation. All other students returned to class after the incident. Turns out having flames and pyrotechnics in the gym may have violated school district policy.