Monday, December 11, 2017
Bizarre News

The five weirdest things that happened around Tampa Bay this week

The week started with the Internet abuzz about a tragic fire in Tampa — tragic not because of injuries or deaths, but because of the potential loss of beer. The damage was thought to top $1 million when Tampa's Yuengling brewery caught fire, but fortunately no beer was harmed.

David Brownell, 48, was scheduled to stand trial on insurance fraud, accused of faking a respiratory illness and bilking the state of $2.7 million. That's "was" instead of "is," because he died this week at Florida Hospital — of lung failure. He's survived by his wife, who thinks she's got some pretty good evidence he wasn't making the whole thing up.

AMC's Freakshow program finds fertile ground this weekend in the bay area's community of sideshow performers. A free live show being taped for television will feature 10 acts, including the Rubber Girl (think contortionist) and sword swallowers, fire-eaters and the Electric Lady, the Human Blockhead (pretty sure this is the guy who drills into his own face) and the Indestructible Woman (could be ANYTHING). Want to watch? Swing by the American Carnival Museum, 6992 Riverview Drive in Riverview, at 6 p.m. Saturday.

If you're going to rob a bank, you're going to need some sort of mask, right? And where are you going to find one of those. Fortunately for the two guys who ripped off a HomeBanc branch in Kenneth City on Thursday, it was Halloween. One wore a devil mask; the other, wearing a ghost mask, carried a gun. No word on whether they trick-or-treated afterward.

Spelling matters, schools teach our kids. Poor spelling makes you seem uneducated and uncultured. It can make it harder for you to find a job. It can even delay the mailing of your report cards. Time needed to correct a misspelling of the word satifsac … er, satsifactosatisfactory pushed back distribution of grades to Hillsborough County elementary students from Friday to Monday. School district spokesman and former Times staffer Stephen Hegarty said anyone writing an article about the mishap "should have somebody proofread it, several times." Always good advice.

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WWE’s Rich Swann arrested in Gainesville, faces battery charge against wife, who’s also a wrestler

WWE’s Rich Swann arrested in Gainesville, faces battery charge against wife, who’s also a wrestler

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Wrestler Rich Swann is being held without bail in a Florida jail after he was arrested and charged with battery and false imprisonment. Swann, who is 26 and a former WWE cruiserweight champion, was arrested Saturday. According to ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
This radio segments asks listeners to guess the race of criminals

This radio segments asks listeners to guess the race of criminals

ST. PETERSBURG — On the night of Oct. 25, a St. Petersburg woman reportedly propositioned an undercover officer.In return for oral sex, she wanted $5 and a Beanie Baby bear, according to a police report.Is she black? Or is she white? It’s a question ...
Published: 12/10/17
A mysterious boom baffles Tampa Bay, and official sources shrug

A mysterious boom baffles Tampa Bay, and official sources shrug

Whatever it was, the boom shook walls and swayed chandeliers."It sounded like a plane had crashed," said Fred Krauer Jr., 43. The noise rattled every room in his home north of State Road 52 and west of Hicks Road. "I felt it in my feet in the shower....
Published: 12/09/17
Portrait of Hillary Clinton set off security dogs, briefly shutting down Art Miami tent

Portrait of Hillary Clinton set off security dogs, briefly shutting down Art Miami tent

When two security dogs reacted to a suspicious crate before an Art Miami tent opening early Saturday morning, Miami police officers briefly shut down the area for a few hours to investigate the possible threat.But when they opened up the offending cr...
Published: 12/09/17
Opossum breaks into Florida liquor store and gets drunk as a skunk

Opossum breaks into Florida liquor store and gets drunk as a skunk

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. — An opossum that apparently drank bourbon after breaking into a Florida liquor store sobered up at a wildlife rescue center and was released unharmed. Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge officials say the opossum was brought in by ...
Published: 12/02/17
A Clark Griswold moment: Police pull over driver with giant Christmas tree (w/video)

A Clark Griswold moment: Police pull over driver with giant Christmas tree (w/video)

It was a scene reminiscent of "National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation."You remember the opening scene, when Clark Griswold dragged his family to a Christmas tree farm only to find the largest tree on the lot? And how it overtook his station wagon as i...
Published: 11/28/17
A woman tweeted ‘show me pictures of weird stuff in your parents house.’ The replies were amazing.

A woman tweeted ‘show me pictures of weird stuff in your parents house.’ The replies were amazing.

A brave woman logged onto Twitter Thursday afternoon with a simple request. "Please show me pictures of weird stuff in your parents house," @jenndangerous tweeted at 12:40 as many of us were gathering around the Thanksgiving table at our relatives’ h...
Updated one month ago
Police: Florida man crashed car to prove intersection was dangerous

Police: Florida man crashed car to prove intersection was dangerous

CLERMONT — Authorities say a man angered over people driving dangerously through a busy intersection appeared to intentionally cause a crash there to highlight the problem. The Daily Commercial reports 61-year-old Bruce John Homer told Lake County Sh...
Updated one month ago
Florida man bites police officer during warrant hearing

Florida man bites police officer during warrant hearing

Miami (AP) — Authorities say a man bit a police officer who was taking him into custody during a hearing in a Miami courtroom.Miami-Dade police spokesman Argemis Colome tells news outlets the officer suffered a "severe injury" when Godel Leveille bit...
Updated one month ago
Baron Cohen to pay fine for Czechs sporting Borat mankinis

Baron Cohen to pay fine for Czechs sporting Borat mankinis

PRAGUE — Comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen has offered to pay the fines for six Czech tourists who were reportedly detained by authorities in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana for dressing up as his character Borat. Sporting lime green "mankinis" and black wig...
Updated one month ago