Man accused of chugging beer during DUI stop

BIG COPPITT KEY, Fla. — Authorities say a 48-year-old Florida man raised a can of beer and chugged it after a sheriff’s deputy stopped him on suspicion of drunk driving.

Daryl Royal Riedel told Monroe County Sheriff’s investigators he was scared when he fled in his pickup truck as Deputy Anthony Lopez stepped out of his patrol car Thursday. Riedel drove for a short distance before stopping.

Riedel has three prior DUI convictions between 2003 and 2010 and a fourth is pending from 2017.

The report says Riedel got out of his truck, beer can in his hand and chugged it.

Riedel faces numerous charges, including felony DUI, fleeing from a deputy, driving with a suspended license and failure to submit a breath test.

He’s in jail without bond. Records don’t list a lawyer.

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Roller coaster was taken out of service twice before derailment

ORLANDO, Fla. — A roller coaster that derailed in Florida had been put out of service by state inspectors twice in the past year and a half because of problems with the ride.

Two riders fell 34 feet when their car derailed Thursday night and was left dangling from the track. Firefighters used ladders to pull eight others to safety high above the Daytona Beach Boardwalk.

“The front car which was holding four passengers completely came off the tracks,” said Daytona Beach Fire spokeswoman Sasha Staton. The two riders who fell from the Sand Blaster ride suffered traumatic injuries, she said.

Of nine passengers taken to the hospital, all but two were discharged by Friday afternoon.

A month before the derailment, a state inspector had found problems with the ride, and the roller coaster was ordered to be taken out of service. State inspection reports released to The Associated Press on Friday show that an inspector last month found excessive corrosion, a damaged seat, and a crack in the track. Those problems, though, were corrected by the time of a follow-up inspection Thursday, according to the reports.

“Deficiencies corrected,” the inspector noted in the “comments” section of the report.

“Department inspectors conducted a thorough inspection of the ride, and it was found in compliance with state law,” according to a statement Friday from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spokeswoman Jennifer Meale. “Anyone who should be held accountable will be held accountable.”

A “stop order” also was issued for the ride in February 2017 because of corrosion and damaged handrails. The stop order continued through two following inspections. In May 2017, an inspector found damaged nuts and bolts. The next month, a seat was found damaged.

In videos posted on social media by witnesses, two people can be seen dangling from the car’s seats and metal scaffolding beneath the track. Bystanders gathered under the passengers, stretching out their hands to assure them that help was coming.

“Two people done fell out and clanked their head on the ground,” Matt Campbell of Knoxville, Tennessee, said in a video of the scene that he posted online.

Campbell and some relatives had been planning to ride the roller coaster, which looked fast but not too extreme for the younger children in the family. It had been raining but the storm seemed to have passed. As they walked toward the ride, they heard a loud bang and saw the front car jump off the track, he said.

“The car was banging against the rails real hard as it came around the turn,” Campbell said. “We noticed it wasn’t just a normal banging of the roller coaster going down the track, that’s what made us look up.”

Campbell said he and his relatives dropped what was in their hands, breaking his sunglasses and spilling their sodas on the ground, to rush toward the ride. He said he saw two women fall from the front car, while a man and a woman appeared to be dangling and stuck between that car and the metal scaffolding under the track.

As some people warned those passengers not to move before rescuers arrived, Campbell said a ride worker grabbed a ladder to help the injured who were hanging above the ground. Firefighters climbed up to rescue them as well as six other passengers in two cars that were still on the track.

“They had to use the tower ladder to get to them and then bring them on board and guide them safely back down,” Staton said.

Nine passengers were taken to the hospital, but hospital officials wouldn’t describe their injuries due to privacy concerns, said Tangela Boyd, a spokeswoman for Halifax Health Medical Center.

Two of the passengers work for a Kentucky company that provides services to people with mental disabilities, and they were on a business trip. One of them remained in the hospital and the other was discharged, said Jory Wells, an official with Alternative Outlook, LLC.

The accident is under investigation.

“We don’t know what happened,” Staton said.

Roller coaster databases show the Sand Blaster had operated in four other locations in its four-decade history. The ride opened at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk in 2013. Before that, it was at the Blue Diamond Amusement Park in New Castle, Delaware, where the ride was called the Blue Diamond Streak.

The coaster operated at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park in Tipton, Pennsylvania, and before that, the coaster was at Legend City in Phoenix, Arizona. It originated at Adventureland Park in Addison, Illinois, according to Ultimate

Credit: NY Post

Crocodile kills pastor as he baptizes followers near lake

A water baptism ceremony held near a lake turned into a horrific tragedy when the pastor was reportedly grabbed by a crocodile Sunday.

Pastor Docho Eshete was baptizing at least 80 members of his Protestant congregation at Lake Abaya, in southern Ethiopia, an area known to have a huge crocodile population, when one of the creatures leaped out of the water and grabbed him.

“He baptized the first person and he passed on to another one,” a local resident told the BBC. “All of a sudden, a crocodile jumped out of the lake and grabbed the pastor.”

Docho died from injuries on his legs, back and hands despite efforts from the congregation, fishermen and residents trying to save him, policeman Eiwnetu Kanko said.

The crocodile escaped as the group used fishing nets to prevent it from taking the pastor’s lifeless body.

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Man caught masturbating tells cops he’s Captain Kirk

A man who was captured masturbating in public on Monday told Florida police officers he was Captain Kirk from “Star Trek.”

Officers from the Clearwater Police Department were called to a bus stop on Monday morning following a report of a “lewd and lascivious act,” WFLA reported.

Officers stated they discovered a man sitting on a bench and touching himself under his pants. The officers noted in a police report that it was “obvious he was masturbating.”

When asked what he was doing, the man told officers, “I’m scratching myself.”

As officers were arresting the man for disorderly conduct, they asked for his name. The arrest report stated the man told him his name was “James Tiberius Kirk,” the same name as the “Star Trek” protagonist Captain Kirk, famously portrayed by actors William Shatner and Chris Pine.

Officers determined the man’s real name was James Bundrick, 56, and charged him with “disorderly conduct and providing a false name to law enforcement,” the Miami Heraldreported.

Bundrick, a native of Georgia, was in prison from 2013 to 2016 for “aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and delivering a fake bomb threat.” His bond was set at $400.

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Florida teacher accused of playing ‘slave game,’ using racial slur in class

A Florida elementary school teacher has been using racist language and played a “slave game” in the classroom, according to the parents of several students.

“She said the N-word. She also stated that she wanted to have a black baby but didn’t feel comfortable bringing one home because of how her parents would feel about the situation,” parent Maurisha McCants said of the Dinsmore Elementary School teacher.

Another three parents told Action Jax News about the teacher’s comments, which they said were inappropriate for the classroom.

“They played a slave game in class,” added another mother, who wished to remain anonymous. “They were trying to tell me it had something to do with a bucket and a rock.”

The parents said they reported the behavior to the principal two months ago, but never learned the results of the promised investigation. And now they believe the unidentified teacher — who is white — is retaliating against their children because they complained to school’s principal.

“It’s like they’re pushing it under the rug,” McCants told the news station. “She’s bringing her personal preferences into the classroom. If you’re a teacher, you’re supposed to be teaching and that’s it.”

Duval County Public Schools spokesperson Laureen Ricks told Action Jax no one has accused the teacher of directing the inappropriate language toward specific students.

“Because this is actively being reviewed, we are unable to discuss more at this time,” Ricks said. “The school immediately reported this to both the District Office of Professional Standards and the Department of Children and Families as soon as they became aware of the allegations.”



Man who owes $500K in child support last seen on paddleboard: cops

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Police in Florida are looking for a 52-year-old man who hasn’t been seen since he went paddleboarding in the Atlantic Ocean a week ago.

Fort Lauderdale police tell the Miami Herald that Constantine George Theoharis was due in court later that day — March 20 — to speak on charges of not paying over a half-million dollars in child support.

But he didn’t show up for court, or for work as a commercial real estate agent. The judge rescheduled his hearing for March 27, but he didn’t show then either.

His wallet and passport were left in his home. Family members tell police they’ve grown increasingly concerned.

Theoharis has been divorced since 2008. His ex-wife is fighting him for child support for their two daughters.

Credit: NY Post

Maryland high school on lockdown following shooting

A shooting was reported Tuesday morning at high school in southeast Maryland. The St. Mary’s County district confirmed Great Mills High School is on lockdown but “the event is contained. ”It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was injured during the incident, which reportedly began just after 8 a.m. Terrence Rhames, a senior, heard a loud crack before his first-period class.The 18-year-old student told the Baltimore Sun he saw a girl fall as he sprinted toward safety. “I just thank god I’m safe,” he told the newspaper. “I just want to know who did it and who got injured.”  

One Great Mills student tweeted frustration that her school was the subject of another school shooting. “You never think it’ll be your school and then it is. Great Mills is a wonderful school and somewhere I am proud to go. Why us?,” tweeted student Mollie Davis Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted: “We are closely monitoring the situation at Great Mills High School. @MDSP is in touch with local law enforcement and ready to provide support. Our prayers are with students, school personnel, and first responders.”The sheriff’s office warned parents “DONOT respond to the school. Report to Leonardtown High School,” which is roughly 10 miles to the west.Maryland State Police confirmed the agency is assisting at the scene, located about 60 miles southeast of Washington, D.C.Agents with the ATF and FBI offices in Baltimore were also responding to the school.

The shooting comes just a month after 17 people were fatally shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

The Feb. 14 massacre has inspired the “March For Our Lives” demonstration against gun violence, which is scheduled to take place in four days in Washington.  


Daily News

Deputy who didn’t stop Florida shooting thinks he ‘did a good job’

The sheriff’s deputy who failed to engage the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School “believed he did a good job” because he called in the location of the massacre and gave a description of the shooter, a top union official said Thursday.

School resource officer Scot Peterson, who resigned in disgrace from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, was “distraught” about the shooting that killed 17 people — but believed he did his duty, according to the president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association.

“He believed he did a good job calling in the location, setting up the perimeter and calling in the description (of Cruz),” said the union official, Jim Bell.

During a press conference, Peterson was lambasted by his sheriff, Scott Israel, for not engaging shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz last week as he slaughtered students and staff at Douglas High School in Parkland.

The union head said he didn’t want to second-guess Peterson — but strongly suggested that failing to take on Cruz was a mistake.

“We have to act, even if that means risking our lives to save many, many more lives. I would demand that from our union members,” said Bell, still a working deputy.

“You’re listening to an execution every time you hear the rifle shot.”

Sheriff Israel suspended Peterson without pay before the 33-year vet abruptly retired.

Peterson was not an association member, but sheriff’s brass asked Bell to contact him with the bad news.

Peterson had been the resource officer at Douglas High School since 2009 and made a base annual salary of $75,673.72 as of 2016, according to sheriff’s office records cited by the Sun-Sentinel newspaper.

That base salary, however, doesn’t include longevity and first-responder bonuses that probably brought Peterson’s non-overtime pay closer to $80,000, according to Bell.

Peterson’s pension will be 75 percent of the average of his top five earning years while on the job, the union head said.

Florida boy gets trapped inside arcade claw machine

A young boy who was really set on getting a stuffed toy from a claw-style vending machine at a Florida restaurant ended up getting stuck inside it on Wednesday, according to officials.

Titusville Fire and Emergency Services said in a Facebook post the incident happened at a Beef O’Brady’s restaurant on the state’s Atlantic coast.

“This evening little Mason was enjoying some food and decided he wanted a stuffed animal,” the rescue agency said. “He wanted it so bad, he climbed into the game to get that toy!!”

Fire officials said the boy was “never in any distress,” and an off-duty firefighter who happened to be there eating dinner contacted his colleagues.

Officials rescued a boy from inside an arcade claw machine on Wednesday in Florida after he climbed inside to get a toy.  (Titusville Fire and Emergency Services)

The boy’s age was not released.

Mason was in the machine for about 5 minutes, and sat on top of the toys while firefighters worked to get him out, Battalion Chief Gregory Sutton told The Associated Press.

The door on the claw machine that a young Florida boy went through and ended up getting stuck in.  (Titusville Fire and Emergency Services)

“He went in, but obviously he couldn’t come back out the same way,” Sutton said.

The machine sustained minimal damage from the rescue, and Mason was able to rejoin his family for dinner, although he was a bit embarrassed. But the ordeal wasn’t entirely fruitless – he was given a toy afterward.

“We love a happy ending,” the fire agency said, “and are glad everything worked out.”

Fox News 

Florida fan beat up girlfriend for dissing Tom Brady: cops

A Florida man got so mad when his girlfriend trash-talked Tom Brady, he pushed her onto a bed and struck her in the mouth, according to a report Tuesday.

Allen Tusing, 39, was watching the Super Bowl at the couple’s home in Palmetto Sunday, when the woman made “provocative comments” about the Patriots quarterback,according to a police report obtained by The Smoking Gun.

The football buff allegedly flew into a fit of rage, smashed a plate of food on the floor, pushed his 39-year-old girlfriend on the bed — and held her arms down, according to the report.

He allegedly whacked her on the right side of her mouth and yelled, “‘I’ll hit you again!’” his son, who witnessed the wild outburst, told cops.

Tusing ran off after the attack, returned at around 10:30 pm and was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge, according to police.

It’s unclear exactly how the woman dissed Brady. But Tusing isn’t the only Florida football fan who lashed out at his lover over the big game.

Cheryl Merrill, 60, of Ponte Vedra Beach, was busted for throwing a wooden shelf at her boyfriend during an argument about who would win the Super Bowl on Sunday,according to

She was “extremely intoxicated,” according to police.