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  1. Florida

This site developed a Florida Man scoring system. Tampa Bay has four of its top 10 all-time stories.

You’ve read the countless stories over the years. Here’s a look at the ‘most’ Florida Man stories of all Florida Man stories.
On Thursday, a Miami-based website created an algorithm that scores stories on their level of Florida Man-ness.
Published Mar. 2
Updated Mar. 2

Whether it’s because of the heat, proximity to water or simply because it’s the third most populous state in the U.S., Florida has become known for its bizarre news stories.

A new oddity seems to flood our social media feeds every week. Headlines in the Tampa Bay Times from just last month included: Oldsmar man sexually assaulted his dog and posted it online, say Pinellas deputies and Florida Woman cradles baby alligator in maternity photo shoot.

On Thursday, a Miami-based website came up with a method to the madness, creating an algorithm that scores stories on their level of Florida Man-ness. Known as the “F.L.O.R.I.D.A. method," – Firearms (or other weapons), Locations, Objects, Reasons for arrest, Injuries, Drugs and alcohol, and Animals — the site used a point-scale to rank stories posted by the Twitter account @_FloridaMan since 2013.

Here is its top 10.

1. Fries with that? Man accused of tossing gator at drive-through

An alligator isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a deadly weapon. Except, this is Florida, and it happened in West Palm Beach in October 2015. Joshua James, 24, was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill after officials say he threw a 3 1/2-foot alligator through a Wendys’ drive-thru window. James was also charged with illegally possessing an alligator and petty theft. Officials said James found the alligator on the side of the road on his way to Wendys, and he is now banned from contact with animals as part of his punishment. Probably best, right?

2. Reptile shop owner hit employees with bearded dragon lizard: BSO

Forty-year-old Benjamin Herman Siegel was arrested in January 2015 after he was accused of hitting employees with a bearded dragon multiple times and threw — fittingly — Gatorade on them. Making the story a little less striking, by Florida standards: Siegel was the owner of a Deerfield Beach reptile shop (it wasn’t just a reptile off the side of the road, much like the guy at No. 1 on the list). Siegel also put the lizard in his mouth, police said. As crazy as this is, maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised — a man died after consuming dozens of insects and worms during a roach-eating contest at the same shop in 2012.

3. OPD: Arrested man didn’t remember driving SUV off showroom floor, through glass door

A 46-year-old man went to Honda of Ocala in 2015, took two large screen television sets and put them in a SUV on the showroom floor, police said. He then drove the SUV through double glass doors, driving into another vehicle before abandoning it at the entrance of a subdivision. Oh, and he told police he didn’t remember doing any of it. Vantice L. Beshears, you are a Florida Man.

4. Authorities find 12-foot gator tied to tree near Hillsborough River

“Authorities are looking for the person, or people, who thought it was a good idea to tie up an approximately 12-foot alligator behind an apartment complex along the Hillsborough River," a Times’ article from 2013 read. "The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received a call Wednesday afternoon about children feeding and harassing an alligator in the river behind Rivertree Landing Apartments, 6909 Indian River Drive, just north of E Sligh Avenue near Temple Terrace.” Who would think this is a good idea?

5. Florida man bites off girlfriend’s thumb during fight

Ricardo Davis [Brevard County Sheriff's Office]

Some stories you just can’t make up. In 2013, a Florida man was accused of biting off his girlfriend’s left thumb during a fight while he was driving her to work at Taco Bell in Palm Bay. Reports at the time say 35-year-old Ricardo Marquis Davis confessed to biting off the thumb and spitting it onto the floorboard. He told police she had pushed his head while they were in the car. Doctors were not able to reattach the woman’s thumb. Oh, Florida.

John Hennessey [Lee County Sheriff's Office]

6. Naked Florida man stood in a fire and chanted ‘gibberish.’ Mushrooms did it, cops say

I’ll let the headline speak for itself on this one. Though, it’s worth adding, 27-year-old Cape Coral native John Hennessey was also holding a knife in his hand when police arrived to his house at 1:30 in the morning last June. Oh, and he also threw a rock and busted his neighbor’s window. And tried to hit officers with a wooden stick. He was electrically subdued, police said, and was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, four counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and one count of criminal mischief.

7. Tampa death metal rocker had flamethrowers, warned of ‘rapture,’ officials say

Hours before his Northdale rental went up in flames, investigators said 53-year-old Patrick O’Brien, lead guitarist for the death metal band Cannibal Corpse, called relatives to warn about “the rapture” and that “aliens have landed.” He was wrong, of course. And he is from Florida, of course. After the fire subdued, police found a stash of about 50 shotguns, 10 semiautomatic rifles, two Uzi-style rifles, 20 handguns and two flame throwers, according to a warrant. If the aliens really had landed, this Florida Man was ready.

Klaid Karpuzi [Pasco County Sheriff's Office]

8. Pasco Sheriff: New Port Richey man gets out of jail, tries to steal deputy’s car in the parking lot

Second time’s a charm, right? Not exactly for Klaid Karpuzi. Having just been freed from jail for an auto theft charge, the 41-year-old tried to break into a car on his way through the jail parking lot, deputies said. He might’ve had a better chance of getting away with it this time, but the car he tried to steal had a Pasco County deputy behind the wheel. He was then marched right back into the lobby of the jail.

Sean Johnson [Hernando County Sheriff's Office]

9. Man, 20, cops plea to lewd act with stuffed horse inside Walmart

A 20-year-old man was accused of committing a sex act with a stuffed toy horse while shopping at a Brooksville Walmart in 2015. Sean Johnson, of Lake Panasoffkee, acted suspiciously “by constantly looking around” after entering the store, loss prevention workers told Brooksville police. Workers saw Johnson remove the toy from a shelf and take it to the bedding department, police said. Then, when Johnson returned the toy to the shelf, it was, uh, “contaminated” and could not be sold. He was arrested.

Jaime Spering [Monroe County Sheriff's Office]

10. Jamie Spering: Man dressed as pirate arrested in Florida Keys

A Florida man dressed in a pirate costume and fired blank rounds from a musket at drivers in the Florida Keys in July 2015, Monroe County deputies said. They also said the man — Jaime Spering — was taken into custody, charged with disorderly conduct and booked into jail. No, we cannot say if he was ever spotted at Gasparilla.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. An eighth-grade boy can be seen punching a seventh-grader in a locker room in this screenshot from a video taken inside a Polk County middle school. Twitter
    A black student was slammed to the floor and punched repeatedly by a white classmate following a physical education class last week at Blake Academy in Lakeland.
  2. Two western lowland gorillas at Busch Gardens were part of the successful Budweiser ad campaign during Super Bowl XLI. Sim Sim, left, and Cenzoo, right, helped sell Bud Light. BUSCH GARDENS  |  Tampa Tribune
    Sim Sim’s claim to fame was a 2007 Bud Light commercial.
  3. A still image from Vice's "WTFlorida?!" episode on Paul Flart. Courtesy of Vice
    Short documentaries on Floridians like hurricane headbanger Lane Pittman and Polk security guard “Paul Flart” expand their stories.
  4. University of Central Florida tourism professor Deborah Breiter says leisure trips are often easier to cancel than business trips, so when there is a prediction of a storm, people will cancel. GEORGE SKENE  |  MCT
    In Orlando, the nation’s most visited tourist destination, hotel occupancy was down by almost 42 percent on the Saturday before Labor Day.
  5. A poster board in memoriam of the victims is seen during a news conference on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Hollywood, Fla. Police discuss the manslaughter charges they filed against a Florida nursing home administrator and employees for the 2017 heat-related deaths of 12 patients after Hurricane Irma knocked out the facility's air conditioning. BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP
    Residents at the now-shuttered Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died amid sweltering heat after Hurricane Irma in 2017.
  6. Shiraaz Sookralli pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. Image by Archive
    Shiraaz Sookralli faces up to 20 years in prison at a Nov. 14 sentencing.
  7. Dave Aronberg, state attorney for Palm Beach County, Fla., speaks during a news conference on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in West Palm Beach. Palm Beach County Sheriff's officials said they arrested Robert Hayes for first degree murder in Rachel Bey's death. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP
    Investigators said the odds are 700-billion-to-1 that the killer is someone other than Robert Hayes. That is 100 times the world’s population.
  8. This Jan. 31, 2017 photo shows the entrance to SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Gustavo “Gus” Antorcha cited a “difference of approach.”
  9. Josh Hensley was known for dressing as Jack Sparrow. Facebook
    Joshua Hensley, 43, was found dead Monday morning. He went missing after setting out on a paddle board Saturday.
  10. The body of Casei Jones was found near Brantley County, Ga. Her four children remain missing. Marion County Sheriff's Office
    The five bodies were discovered in Georgia.
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