Florida Man Chronicles: 50 Outrageous and True Stories

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1Florida Information Laws Explained

Florida Information Laws Explained

The "Florida Man" phenomenon exists because Florida's freedom of information laws make it easier for journalists to obtain information about police arrests than in other states.

2. In 2016, a Florida man named Joshua James tossed an alligator through a drive-thru window. He was charged with "assault with a deadly weapon."

3. In 2014, a Florida man named Jason Humphreys used a cell phone jammer every day while traveling to work because he didn't want drivers around him to be distracted by their phones. The FCC fined him $48,000.

4. In 2004, a dog shot a Florida man named Jerry Allen Bradford as he attempted to kill six puppies. He was holding two puppies, one in his arms and another in his left hand, when the dog in his hand wiggled and put its paw on the trigger of the .38-caliber revolver. The gun was then discharged.

5. In 2018, a Florida man named Alan Jay Abrahamson faked his own murder by shooting himself with a gun tied to a weather balloon. The authorities never found the gun or the balloon.

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6Woman Regains Eyesight After Back Surgery

Woman Regains Eyesight After Back Surgery

In 2016, a 70-year-old Florida woman named Mary Ann Franco regained her eyesight after a spinal realignment surgery she had to undergo due to a back injury. She had lost her vision in 1993 after she was involved in a car crash and suffered a stroke.

7. In 2017, a Florida man shot his neighbor's cat because he claimed it "looked at him like he owned the place."

8. In 2022, an alligator killed a man in Florida who was searching for a frisbee in a pond.

9. In 1986, a Florida man named Captain Midnight hijacked HBO's satellite to protest their high prices.

10. In 2019, a Florida man named Bryan Stewart told his neighbors that he would kill them with kindness. He then tried to kill them with a machete named "Kindness."

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11Stranded Man Calls Help

Stranded Man Calls Help

In 2016, while stranded on a sandbar in Florida, sharks circled around a man named Steve Moon. He kept them at bay with a fishing pole for an hour and a half before remembering he had a cell phone and called for help.

12. In 2019, five prisoners on work detail used a coat hanger to break out a 1-year-old girl accidentally locked in a car by her father in Florida. The mother, who took a video, said, "Them prisoners bust that s*** right open, so thank God for the criminals in the world."

13. In 2014, authorities arrested Florida man Ryan Lee Carroll and charged him with running a drug distribution operation, four months after he won a contest to meet the cast of Breaking Bad. Authorities found $1 million in synthetic marijuana and a souvenir Hazmat suit signed by the Breaking Bad cast.

14. In 2013, a Florida man named Scott Simon butt-dialed 911 while discussing murder plans. He was later charged with first-degree murder after the man he discussed was found shot in a car following an argument at a Waffle House restaurant.

15. In 2016, Courtland Hunt, a Florida man, modified a Glock 9mm to shoot underwater and used it to target invasive lionfish while scuba diving. Hunt remarked, "Who wouldn't want to go shoot their gun at fish underwater? Especially a species that detrimental to the environment."

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1615-Foot Penguin Hoax

15-Foot Penguin Hoax

Between 1948 and 1958, Tony Signorini wore 30-pound, three-toed lead shoes and stomped around a Florida beach at night, leading people to believe a 15-foot-tall penguin roamed the area. Only 40 years later did the hoax come to light.

17. In 1991, Marshall Ledbetter broke into the Florida State Capitol and blockaded himself inside. His demands included pizza, beer, cigarettes, Chinese food, weed, 666 donuts (for the cops), and phone calls with Ice Cube, Timothy Leary, and Lemmy from Motörhead. Despite not meeting any demands, the standoff concluded peacefully.

18. Two Florida men failed to steal a Corvette in 2013 because they couldn't drive stick. At gunpoint, the owner instructed them four times to push the clutch, but they gave up and ran away on foot with only the man's phone, keys, and wallet.

19. A Florida man named Michael Moylan woke up with a severe headache in 2007. At the hospital, doctors found a bullet in his head. It turned out that his wife had shot him while he was sleeping.

20. A Florida man named Edward Archbold choked to death in 2012 after participating in and winning a live cockroach eating contest.

21Kidney Auction Reached Millions

Kidney Auction Reached Millions

In 1999, a Florida man tried to auction his kidney on eBay, writing, "You can choose either kidney. Buyer pays all transplant and medical costs. Of course, only one for sale, as I need the other one to live. Serious bids only." The bids reached $5.7 million before the company abruptly ended it.

22. In 1933, a Florida man named Carl Tanzler dug up Elena "Helen" Milagro de Hoyos' body, essentially mummified her, and lived with her corpse in his home for seven years.

23. In 2009, an accused Florida man named Keith Griffin claimed his cat downloaded child porn, not him.

24. A Florida man named Vance Flosenzier wrestled a shark out of the water in 2002 to retrieve his nephew's arm that it had bitten off. Doctors managed to reattach the arm.

25. In 1968, authorities wrongfully imprisoned James Joseph Richardson, a Florida man, for 21 years for poisoning his seven children. In her old age, the child's babysitter confessed to poisoning those children while in a nursing home, leading to his release.

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