The son of a Vietnam War veteran who recently passed away found a grenade in his late father's home near Arlington, Florida.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office told WJAX that the bomb squad was called to the home Saturday afternoon after the man reported he was cleaning out his late father’s home and found the grenade in his nightstand.
He believes his father brought the grenade home from the Vietnam War and feared it was still functional, WJAX reports.
Several nearby homes had to be evacuated while police removed the item from the home.
The Sheriff Office’s bomb squad took possession of the grenade to destroy it in a safe location.
It was later found not to be an active explosive device.
“You destroyed my life, so I’m going to destroy you.”
With those words, a Florida woman on Thursday night beat to death her 85-year-old mother for leaving her out of her will, , police investigators said.
Gabriela Perero, 53, of Fort Lauderdale, is charged with premeditated murder and aggravated battery of a person 65 years old or older, according to Broward County jail records. She is being held without bail.
Perero’s arrest report, which is available online, states that medics with the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue went to Luisa Perero’s home around 9:15 p.m. Thursday after receiving a report of an elderly woman suffering from chest pains. When they arrived at the elderly woman’s condo, they found Luisa Perero suffering from injuries consistent with a beating.
They also found Gabriela Perero, who told the medics that she attacked her mother in a rage, the arrest report said. Fort Lauderdale police officers were called to the scene.
“I guess I’m going to jail. I beat up my mom,” Gabriela Perero said, according to the arresting officer’s affidavit.
The officer said that Perero continued to make incriminating statements.
“I pushed her down, grabbed her and tore the skin off her arm,” Perero said, according to the affidavit. “I did it all. I don’t want her to die.”
Luisa Perero was taken to Broward Health Medical Center in critical condition, the affidavit said. The victim, whose visible injuries included cuts to the back of her head and skin torn off both arms, was briefly declared dead but emergency personnel were able to restore her heartbeat.
Suffering from bleeding on the brain, she was placed on life support and died Friday of her injuries.
Gabriela Perero told investigators she was angry because her siblings were receiving inheritances from their mother, but she was not, despite being the one caring for the elderly woman. According to the arrest affidavit, she told detectives she became enraged over the ongoing dispute and began ransacking her mother’s home, where she was also living temporarily.
Perero said she broke picture frames and flung around paperwork, but was still angry and turned on her mother, the document said. She said she threw her mother to the floor, causing a bleeding head wound, and grabbed her by the throat.
It was then that she told her mother she would destroy her, according to the affidavit.
Perero told investigators that after the beating, she took her mother into the bathroom and washed the blood off her body, the affidavit said. She then put her to bed and called 911.
A pregnant woman, an infant and a 13-year-old were shot in Pine Hills, Florida, on Monday, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies responded to Gamble and Dunsford drives about 2:40 p.m. on a report of a shooting.
A 21-year-old pregnant woman was killed, a 10-month-old was grazed by a bullet and a 13-year-old was shot in the arm, deputies said.
Deputies said the victims were inside a car when they were shot. The woman died at a hospital. The 13-year-old was hit in the arm and the 10-month-old was struck in the side. Both remain hospitalized. The 13-year-old is expected to survive, deputies said.
A total of six people were inside the vehicle.
Investigators said they are talking to the woman’s boyfriend, who was also in the car and is the father of the 10-month-old.
Authorities are searching for two men driving a white, late-model Malibu in connection with the shootings.
Florida’s economy hit a new milestone. The state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) topped $1 trillion, the Florida Chamber Foundation’s chief economist announced Friday.
To put it into perspective, if Florida was an independent country, Florida’s $1 trillion economy would rank as the 17th largest economy in the world – ahead of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Argentina, officials with the Florida Chamber of Commerce said.
“This is an historic moment for Florida reaching a record $1 trillion in GDP. By working every day to create private-sector jobs, we’ve been able to increase Florida’s GDP by more than $270 billion – 37 percent – since 2010,” Gov. Rick Scott said.
The FCF said the state is adding about $2.74 billion to the state's gross domestic product each day.
The chamber has launched the "Florida 2030" initiative to address problem areas in the economy, such as the achievement gap in schools and the poverty rate.
“This growth in our economy is good news and reminds us of the positive impact that business, community, philanthropic and elected leaders can have on Florida when we work together toward a common goal of securing Florida’s future,” said Tony Carvajal, executive vice president of the Florida Chamber Foundation.
Despite hitting the $1 trillion mark, there's still room to grow. Economists have long pointed to wage growth as an area in Florida's economy -- and the national economy -- that needs to be addressed in order for continued economic growth.
A homeless man with no arms is accused of stabbing a tourist from Chicago early Tuesday in Miami, police said.
Jonathan Crenshaw, 46, is accused of holding a pair of scissors with his feet to stab Cesar Coronado, 22, The Associated Press reported.
A friend who was with Coronado said they stopped to ask Crenshaw for directions and Crenshaw attacked Coronado, stabbing him in the arm, the AP reported. Coronado was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Crenshaw told police that he was lying down in the South Beach area of Miami and Coronado punched him in the head, the AP reported.
Police arrested Crenshaw and charged him with aggravated battery, according to the Miami-Dade County inmate record.
A grill could be to blame for a house fire on Independence Day, according to officials with Palm Bay Fire Rescue.
Firefighters said they were called Wednesday to a home on Yukon Street Northeast near Malabar Road Northeast and Emerson Drive Northeast.
"BBQ grill may have spread the fire to the home," the agency said in a tweet. "PBFR crews currently working to save the home and extinguish the fire along with crews for (Brevard County Fire Rescue)."
No other details were given.
A deputy was called to a home Friday in Astor, located west of Daytona Beach, after the teenager's mother called 911 saying her daughter was “trapped in a tree by a large gator,” according to a report.
"My daughter is stuck in a tree. There's a gator surrounding her. We can't get her out," the woman told the dispatcher. "She got in the tree to get out of the water. The gator is on land and in the water right under her."
The girl's father, Mike Henderson, told the deputy his daughter had been in the tree for 30 minutes and there was a 10- to 11-foot alligator at the base of it keeping her from climbing down.
The tree overhung a creek in a swimming area near Alligator Springs. The teen was on a raft when the gator approached her. She said climbing up the tree was her only means to safety once the gator began to get near her.
The report said the girl was up in the tree screaming. As the deputy tried to get a better look, he heard a hissing sound and saw the alligator in the water at the base of the tree.
Deputies said the Lake County Marine Units were still about 20 minutes away and the girl couldn't hang on to the tree much longer.
According to a report, the deputy was about 4 feet from the alligator and was hoping his presence would scare it away, but instead, the alligator got closer.
The deputy fired a single .223 round from a Bushmaster AR15, killing the reptile.
Lake County marine biologists came to the scene to search for the alligator’s body.
The girl was not injured.
A Florida police department issued a warning to the public Friday about the dangers of drug-induced "excited delirium," one day after two men were apprehended behaving in an erratic manner in separate incidents.
Melbourne police were called shortly after 9:45 a.m. Thursday on reports of a man hiding behind trees and running back and forth across the intersection, police Lt. Shawn Eising said.
"He doesn't have a shirt on, and he's running all over the place," an unidentified person said in a 911 call. "He's tripping on drugs or something, (because) he's hiding in the shade, and then he's running and hiding in the shade."
Witness Angie Nappa said the sweaty man was talking to himself and appeared to be amped up.
"He was crazy," Nappa said. "If he was loose, he probably would have killed somebody, really, because that's how mad he was."
Police tried to restrain the man so he could undergo a psychological evaluation, but he was combative, Eising said. He was eventually taken to a nearby hospital.
"There was actually five (officers) on top of him, at least five," Nappa said. "And he was screaming, 'Get off me. Get off me.'"
About three hours later, someone in the Melbourne Regional Medical Center's emergency room called police about another man who was being disruptive toward hospital staff and acting erratically, Eising said.
"Officers arrived as this male's behavior was escalating and he acted out physically toward the staff," he said. "Officers assisted staff members with restraining the male so he could undergo medical treatment."
The man shouted that he would never do drugs again and told police that he had taken flakka-laced heroin, investigators said.
The man shouted that Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey is his best man and husband, witnesses said.
Police said both men are being treated for drug-induced excited delirium. It's unknown if the men know one another or if they obtained drugs from the same person, investigators said.
"Should you see someone who appears to be under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance and is acting erratically, either in public or at home, please contact your local police and emergency medical service for assistance," Eising said. "Avoid interacting with these subjects as their actions can be unpredictable."
Police said drug-induced excited delirium can cause people who are typically passive and peaceful to behave in an erratic and violent manner.
"These individuals are likely suffering a medical emergency, which, without treatment, can be life-threatening," Eising said.
The incidents remain under investigation.
A Florida man recently released from jail was taken back after he was unable to pay his $70 taxi ride home, police said.
Charles Folk hailed a cab around 1 a.m. Thursday to take him on a 30-mile trip from the Brevard County Jail Complex to a house in Melbourne, according to The Associated Press.
When he arrived at the destination, he told the driver he could not pay the fare. Neither his sister nor her roommate were able to help.
The driver called police and Folk, 40, was arrested and charged with petty theft. He was being held on $2,000 bail.
Folk was previously in jail for criminal mischief after ransacking his own home and damaging his roommate’s possessions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
File this under one of those “only in Florida” stories. A man was recently seen grasping the hood of a car as it sped down an interstate in Miami.
The daring -- and crazy -- feat happened on Sunday evening, WFOR reported.
A man, wearing only a tank top and shorts, was holding onto the hood of a Mercedes as it was driven by a woman down I-95. And if that wasn’t strange enough, the man was on his phone at the time, WFOR reported.
The car reached speeds of 70 miles per hour, WPLG reported.
Daniel Midah recorded the video and called 911 to report the stunt. Florida Highway Patrol is investigating, WFOR reported.
Midah also uploaded to Twitter, but warning the video is NSFW.
Midah told WPLG, “All I was thinking is, this guy is going to slide off and hit me, slide off the other side or if anything, he is going to slide down and she is going to hit him, and then she is going to crash into somebody else.”
The woman who was allegedly behind the wheel of the Mercedes was arrested, WPLG reported Wednesday.
Patresha Isidore was charged with crimes against a person exposing them to harm, according to WPLG.
Junior Francis told the television station he was the man on the hood of the car and that they have an on-again, off-again relationship. The pair are the parents of a 5-year-old little girl.
Francis said that they both own the car and that they both needed to use it on Sunday, but she got in the driver’s seat first. He told WPLG that he hopped on the hood to keep Isidore from leaving, but she put the car in reverse and left with him to pick up their daughter.
Maybe they just needed their morning coffee?
A video posted Saturday of two large, cranky iguanas butting heads – literally – outside a Starbucks in Boca Raton, Florida, has gone viral, racking up thousands of views on Facebook.
>> Watch the video here (Warning: Viewer discretion advised.)
"So I was on my way to pick up my coffee from Starbucks and I was driving around back, and all of a sudden on the side there, I see this branch," Moskoff said. "So I said to my friend, 'What is that?' And we stopped because it was moving, and all of a sudden, we see that it's iguanas with the iguana's head inside the other one's mouth."
That's when she took out her camera and started filming.
"Obviously, you can hear in the commentary that we were amazed by what was happening," she said.
According to Medium, male iguanas "vying for territory and mating privileges engage in very intense combat, with head butting, pushing, shoving and locking of the crests on top of their heads."
Funeral services for four Orlando children killed during a 21-hour police standoff with their mother’s boyfriend were held Saturday.
The funeral marked a difficult day for the family of Dove Lindsey, 1, Aiden Lindsey, 6, Lillia Pluth, 10, and Irayan Pluth, 12.
The day also proved too emotional for the children's mother, Ciara Lopez.
"I remain stuck in that one night, that one night where everything changed, standing outside that apartment, waiting for different news," she said in a statement.
Detectives believe Gary Lindsey, 35, shot the children either shortly before or after police officers came to the door of his apartment June 10 in response to a domestic battery call from Lopez. She had escaped the apartment.
Lindsey fired at the responding officers, seriously wounding Officer Kevin Valencia, who remains in a coma. Lindsey was then holed up in the apartment for almost a full day. Officers found him dead in a closet when they entered the apartment the following day.
The children were found in their beds, police said.
Some of the officers who worked during the standoff went to the service.
"It's heartbreaking to see, obviously a small casket, with an infant inside," said Orlando Police Chief John Mina.
Lindsey was Lopez’s boyfriend and the mother of all four children. Lindsey was the father of two of the children.
Four teenagers and one adult who recorded a man’s drowning and laughed as it happened will not be criminally charged, the State Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Jamal Dunn, 31, of Cocoa, Florida, died in July 2017.
A passerby found Dunn’s body in a pond at Bracco Pond Park days after he died, investigators said.
In the two-and-a-half-minute video, the teenage boys can be heard yelling, “We’re not going to help you and you never should have gotten in there.”
There is no Florida law that requires a person to provide emergency assistance.
Prosecutors had considered charging the group with failing to notify a medical examiner of a death, but said they could not appropriately apply it in Dunn’s case without new legislation.
At the time the video was taken, the group ranged in age from 14 to 18.
After the incident, a Florida state legislator crafted a good Samaritan bill that would have made it a crime not to assist someone in need, but lawmakers rejected it.
“I know that everyone was sickened by the callous disregard for human life exhibited by these young people. We can only hope that this was an isolated and rare circumstance that will never happen again,” State Attorney Phil Archer said.
“Unfortunately, Florida law does not address this behavior and we are ethically restrained from pursuing criminal charges without a reasonable belief of proving a crime beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.”
A Florida oncologist and 2003 Satellite High School graduate is asking questions after she and several of her former classmates were diagnosed with cancer.
Dr. Julie Greenwalt, of the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center in Jacksonville battled a rare, aggressive form of appendix cancer.
She first contacted the Florida Department of Health about one year ago to ask the agency to take a closer look at the cancer cases. Her resolve was strengthened after a recent Military Times article about the detection of water contaminates linked to cancer and developmental delays in children at military bases nationwide, including Patrick Air Force Base.
Greenwalt asked Victoria Hicks, a friend and fellow Satellite High School alumna, to discuss her breast cancer diagnosis with the health department.
"I was 33, and I had no family history," Hicks said. "I went to the doctor nine months before my actual diagnosis and was told it's nothing, it's no big deal, and it grew into an 8-centimeter mass."
Greenwalt said the pattern of cancer diagnoses is concerning.
"I think it's an abnormal pattern that so many young people in their 30s are getting cancer without family history," she said. "I'm not trying to cause any panic, just trying to create awareness that there might be a problem."
Officials with the FDOH said although the agency hasn't launched a formal investigation, it recognizes the importance of gathering and assessing information that could help determine necessary next steps.
Greenwalt said current and former Brevard County residents who have been diagnosed with cancer are asked to contact the county health department's epidemiologist to provide details of their diagnosis and related information.
Relatives of patients who have died from cancer are also asked to report that information to the agency.
"I just feel grateful to be alive, and I know that God has a plan for my life," Greenwalt said. "(Perhaps) this is part of it -- to try and help figure this out."
She said she plans to organize a community meeting in Satellite Beach to increase awareness.
"I hope now that it's out there, the possibility of people getting screened sooner can help save more lives," Hicks said.
Two men from North Georgia drowned in separate weekend incidents off Panama City Beach, police said.
Eugene Spann, 67, of Atlanta, was declared dead after being pulled from the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday morning, authorities said.
The body of Tony Orlando Jackson, 21, of Cartersville, was found Sunday afternoon about two hours after he was caught by a large wave, according to police.
Police and emergency workers took over life support efforts from bystanders when they found Spann unresponsive on the beach behind a motel short after 11 a.m. He was taken to an emergency room on the beach, where he was pronounced dead.
A search effort involving several agencies eventually found Jackson’s body. Police originally responded to a call about a swimmer in distress about 2:30 p.m.
Police said surf flags were at the red “high hazard” level when Jackson drowned. That was up from the yellow “medium hazard” designation at the time of Spann’s death.
On Sunday afternoon, Ali the African elephant briefly wandered through an open gate into a contained courtyard behind the giraffe and elephant night house, according to press release from Florida's Jacksonville Zoo.
He was quickly returned and secured in a holding enclosure, the zoo said.
There were no guests, staff members or animals, including Ali, injured during the incident, according to the zoo.
The zoo said incident was a result of human error. When the elephant keepers realized Ali was not in his holding yard, they called a “code-red."
While no guests were in danger, any time an animal is not where it is supposed to be, established safety protocols go into effect, according to the release.
Ali was donated in 1997 from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, according to the zoo.
A fraternity at the University of Central Florida is facing a lawsuit after a woman claimed her ex-boyfriend shared sexually explicit images of her with fellow fraternity members on a private Facebook page.
The Arizona woman filed the lawsuit with the office of attorney Michael Avenatti, who also represents adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump.
According to the lawsuit, the woman claimed her ex-boyfriend, a member of UCF’s Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, shared explicit photos and videos without her permission via text, email and a private Facebook page called the “Dog Pound,” in which members publicized “sexual conquests.”
The lawsuit was filed against the man and four other fraternity members.
Avenatti said other women were unwitting victims on the private Facebook page, too.
“It takes a lot of bravery and courage for a woman to come forward under these circumstances, especially a young woman, but she’s intent on doing so to make sure that this doesn’t happen to other women,” Avenatti said in a statement.
The lawsuit said the woman only found out about the images when she saw a frat member’s text ... that referenced the Facebook page.
“We’re hopeful that [UCF] is going to get to the bottom of this very, very quickly and be very aggressive,” Avenatti said.
The university also issued a statement on the lawsuit.
“These allegations are contrary to our core values,” officials said.
“Although UCF is not a party to the suit, we are gathering information.”
University officials said they want to hear from anyone who believes they may be a victim.
A woman in Columbia County, Florida is back in jail after she failed to show up in court for an aggravated battery charge.
In October of last year, Kimberly Dunn, 35, shot her ex-husband in the testicles after he tried to take an AC unit, according to an arrest report.
Dunn's estranged husband said he came to her home -- with his brother -- to pick up the unit. He had discovered that she was attempting to sell it on Facebook, the report said.
The couple was going through a divorce, the arrest report said.
When the man and his brother attempted to unhook the unit, Dunn sat on it to prevent the two men from taking it, the report said.
When the ex-husband approached, he tried to remove her from the AC unit, but Dunn produced a pink stun gun and attempted to electrocute him, according to the arrest report. Dunn was struck in the head and dropped both the pink stun gun and a handgun, the report said.
Dunn reportedly got up off the ground and shot him in the testicles with the handgun. The man's brother pushed Dunn to the ground and attempted to help his brother and drove him to the hospital.
The report said the ex-husband's brother screamed, "You shot my brother" and began choking her until she blacked out.
Dunn's ex-husband picked up the gun after the shooting and brought it with him to the hospital, the report stated.
Dunn was arrested the same day and was taken to the Columbia County jail without incident. She told deputies she didn't mean to shoot her ex-husband and was only trying to scare him, the report said.
On Thursday, June 14, Dunn was arrested for failing to show up in court for the shooting incident. She faces an additional charge of contempt of court.
Officials said a roller coaster that derailed Thursday evening at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk in Florida was inspected just hours before the incident.
Safety inspectors said they will investigate why the Sand Blaster roller coaster derailed, sending some riders plummeting to the ground and leaving others dangling in the air.
Two people fell 34 feet from the roller coaster Thursday after a car came off the tracks around 8:30 p.m., officials said.
Firefighters said they had to work quickly to remove two riders from a dangling coaster car. Ten people were rescued from the ride and six were taken to local hospitals for treatment, officials said.
Daytona Beach police said in a report that the first of the roller coaster’s three cars slid off the tracks until it was hanging off the side of the ride. The middle car also went off the tracks while the third remained stationary.
Officials found at least two people on the ground after the derailment. One of the victims who fell was in the front car, according to a report.
The conditions of the injured people were not immediately known. Officials said they were taken to hospitals under a trauma alert status.
At least four of the riders were visiting from the United Kingdom, authorities said.
Volusia County officials were flooded with 911 calls when the train derailed.
A man called authorities after the incident to say he had seen maintenance workers working on the tracks earlier in the day, according to the police report.
"I just saw it fall off," a witness told WFTV. "I just thought it was part of the ride, because we were kind of far away. And then we heard a big bang and people screaming like they were hurt."
The derailed car remained dangling off the side of the roller coaster tracks Friday morning.
"It was barely hanging on by a thread," the witness told WFTV. "It looked like it could have snapped off at any point. It looked like plastic was literally holding it."
Northbound lanes of North Ocean Avenue were closed while firefighters removed people from the ride.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services released a statement Friday saying the ride had been inspected Thursday.
“First and foremost, we’re concerned about the individuals who were injured last night. Their well-being and recovery is of the utmost importance,” the statement said.
“Just yesterday, department inspectors conducted a thorough inspection of the ride, and it was found in compliance with state law. We have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the accident, and anyone who should be held accountable will be held accountable.”
Authorities said they arrested a man Friday on suspicion of taking a cash register drawer from a Walmart in Florida and then trying to carjack two people at knifepoint.
Christopher Raymond Hill, 36, was arrested on charges of strong arm robbery, carjacking with a firearm or deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and trespassing, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office online inmate information search.
Investigators said the incident began when Hill went into the Walmart at the River City Marketplace and asked if he could have change for a $20. A cashier told Hill he would have to buy something and he then bought a pack of cigarettes.
Once the register was open, Hill reached over, grabbed the register and ran out of the store, according to a JSO arrest report.
A witness saw Hill get into a silver Ford SUV, but it did not appear to start, so he got out and ran, according to authorities.
Police said Hill approached a man who was sitting in the parking lot near Supercuts. Hill asked the man for a ride and the man refused, according to authorities. Hill put the cash register in the man's truck bed and pulled out a knife, cutting the man on the hands and leg, the arrest report said.
According to the report, the man was able to grab his pistol from his truck and pointed it at Hill, who then ran away toward Starbucks.
Hill next ran to the car of a woman who was in line at the nearby Starbucks drive-through, officials said. She told police she rolled down her passenger's side window to see what he wanted and that he opened her door and got into the car, officials said.
The woman said Hill told her to drive because someone was chasing him, officials said. She told police she tried to push Hill out of the vehicle and that he would not get out. According to the police report, she was in fear for her life, so she got out of her car to get her Ruger pistol out of her trunk.
Hill got out of the car and came toward her, officials said. She said she pointed her pistol at him and he ran away, according to officials.
When police arrived, they found Hill had barricaded himself inside the bathroom at Supercuts, but he came out when officers ordered him to.
According to the report, Hill told police, "The reason I was running and did this was because somebody was after me."
As of Monday morning, Hill was still in the Duval County Jail, being held on a bond of $91,512. His next court date is set for July 2.
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