Florida Man Calendar – September 15

September 15 – Florida Woman Fakes Sign Language at Major Press Conference

A Florida woman baffled the deaf community after faking American Sign Language during a press conference about the arrests of a Seminole Heights serial killer.

The Tampa Police Department said that Derlyn Roberts arrived at the station and volunteered her services as a sign language interpreter. Chief Brian Dugan confirmed that the department did not vet her background before allowing the woman into the press conference. As Chief Dugan informed the community of the arrest of Howell Donaldson, hearing-impaired viewers say they were shocked to see Roberts gesticulating “gibberish” instead of communicating ASL.

“She sat up there and waved her arms like she was singing Jingle Bells,” said ASL professor Rachelle Settambrino.

Along with the disrespect to the deaf community, viewers were also upset that hearing-impaired attendees had relied on the interpreter to share information about the arrest.

“”I know the deaf mother of one of the victims’ of the serial killer,” said attendee Betti Bonni. “She was standing right there and the interpreter was signing in a way that was incomprehensible.”

Tampa police confirmed that an investigation of Roberts showed that she had a history of fraud. Although they do not know why she posed as an interpreter, they managed to get a certified ASL interpreter for the press conference the following day.

Police did not arrest Roberts because posing as an ASL interpreter is not a crime. Still, the deaf community remains dissatisfied.

“I really want to know why the city of Tampa’s chief of police who is responsible for my safety and the safety of the entire community did not check her out,” Settambrino said.

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September 15 – Florida Man in Trouble After Using Remote Control to Avoid Paying Tolls

A Florida man faces charges after coming up with a clever way to avoid paying highway tolls.

Police say that Joshua Concepcion-West put a gadget on his car that covered his license plate with the touch of a button.

State troopers noticed the unusual gadget after a cover dropped over West’s license plate moments before he went through the tollway. After his car went through the toll booth, the troopers noticed that West’s license plate was visible again.

Although the average Florida toll is a little more than one dollar, West now has a charge a grand theft on his criminal record.

“We don’t know yet how many times this vehicle has run the toll, so we don’t know how much money he’s stolen from the state,” said state sergeant Kim Montes.

September 15 – Florida Man Fights Restaurant Staff Over Free Pizza

A Florida man gave restaurant workers a “pizza” his mind when they did not offer him free pizza.

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says that James Dennison went to Lake Worth Pizza and asked for a free slice. When a waitress told him that the restaurant does not give out free pizza, Dennison grabbed a handful of rocks and threw it at the employees. One of the rocks struck Heather Sanford in the lower leg and another rock broke the store’s pizza display case.

Police also say that Dennison grabbed a concrete planter from outside of the door, but shop owner Bojar Troni was able to knock the weapon out of his hands. Another employee scared Dennison with a broomstick until officers arrived.

The responding officers caught up with Dennison in a nearby Checkers parking lot. They arrested and charged him with battery, criminal mischief, and throwing deadly missiles in a building.