Florida is best known for its beaches, the Everglades, and perpetually good weather. The state, however, also serves as home to some of the craziest people to ever roam the land. Since launching, Fusion’s The Morning Show has ensured that these wonderful weirdos get their due on a weekly basis in a recurring segment aptly named “What the Florida?” Below are five of the craziest things that took place in the wang-shaped state this year.
The Skunk Ape
Often called the “Florida Big Foot,” the Skunk Ape—or Myakka Ape—is an Orangutan-like cryptocreature rumored to reside in the state’s wilderness. Its name is derived from its alleged smell (rotten eggs), oh and it also runs upright. No one, of course, has actually caught one but that hasn’t stopped people from believing in it. Case in point: the individuals below, who claim they spotted the elusive animal by Sarasota, Fla. Their evidence? Blurry photographs and video that actually prove nothing.
There’s dumb criminals, and then there’s Florida-level dumb criminals. Police were called to a Naples home after 25-year-old Richard Tyler Brandon got stuck in a chimney during an attempted burglary. After 30 minutes, Naples Fire and Rescue were able to free up the would-be burglar. He was charged with two counts of burglary.
Charles “Chuck” Barry—no relation to Marvin Berry— was arrested for pretending to be a cop in order to get a discount on donuts. The 48-year-old drove through a Dunkin Donuts in Trinity and flashed a badge that belonged to his deceased father in order to get the tasty pastries at a lower rate. At one point, after being refused, Barry flashed a gun to allegedly prove that he was, in fact, an officer of the law. He was eventually arrested after—we kid you not—a sting operation.
Robbery on the Run
If you’re going to rob a fast food joint, don’t do it from the drive-thru. An unidentified man didn’t get the memo after he tried to rob Wendy’s in Miramar, Florida. According to authorities, the masked robber pulled up in his 2001 Pontiac Trans Am, ordered food (a couple of junior bacon cheeseburgers, we imagine), and when he moved up to the pay window, he pulled out a weapon. The Wendy’s employee refused to give him any money and instead ran away, at which point our master criminal fired a round. No one was hurt, and the lazy robber drove off without any money or food.
Ashes at the Mall
We once again go back to Sarasota, Florida, where police were called to Westfield Southgate Mall after 65-year-old Thomas Morin was discovered spreading a white substance at a Lenscrafters. It wasn’t anthrax, however. Instead, the white powder turned out to be the ashes of his fiancé Karen Wren Domschke, who as her final wish had requested that her remains be spread across various locations where she had experienced joy.