Florida Man Files – September 13

September 13 – Florida Man Claims He Was Trying to Kill Rats After Shooting Into Neighbor’s Yard

A Florida man claimed he was only trying to shoot rodents after subjecting offers to a eight-hour standoff near his backyard.

Pinellas County responded to calls after several residents reported hearing gunshots in Palm Harbor. Officers determined that the shots came from a house on Canopy Oaks Boulevard. Police reported that a suspect named Stephen Jonas used a .223 rifle to shoot outside five times early in the morning. At least one of the bullets hit a neighbor’s backyard, but the police reported no injuries.

Police arrived soon after and ordered Jonas’ neighbors to evacuate the area. They then attempted to use the PA system to direct Jonas to surrender to the police. However, it took over Jonas eight hours to exit his home where he had apparently fallen asleep after firing his gun.

After determining that Jonas was drug-impaired but otherwise cooperative, police arrested Jonas and took him into custody. They also searched his home and found 15 more rifles as well as marijuana and pills that the officers suspected to be Xanax.

When questioned about the shooting, Jonas “told deputies that he was shooting rats in his backyard,” a police spokeswoman said.

Officers charged Jonas with shooting an occupied building as well as possession of illegal substances. So far, there has been no sighting of the alleged rats in question.

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September 13 – Drunk Florida Woman Arrested for Making Teenager Drive Her to Waffle House

A Florida woman’s craving for waffles landed her in jail.

Tampa police say that a math teacher named Terra Virgin convinced a 14-year-old to drive her to Waffle House because she was too drunk to get behind the wheel herself. The woman had consumed five alcoholic beverages before the trip.

After receiving reports of erratic driving, police stopped the car near the corner Kennedy Boulevard and Westland Avenue. Inside the vehicle, police found that Terra Virgin also had an open beer can in her lap. She told officers that the teen driver was her boyfriend’s son and that he was taking her to Waffle House because she was too impaired to drive.

Police charged the teacher with child neglect and for letting an unlicensed minor drive. As a teacher for Freedom High School in Hillsborough County, the arrest means that Virgin must meet with the school department’s Office for Professional Standards for review.

The sheriff’s office took the opportunity to remind license holders that while it makes sense that Virgin wanted to find a designated driver, the driver must still be authorized to take the wheel.

“She thought wisely that she was not in any kind of shape to drive, but getting a 14-year-old, who doesn’t have a license to drive, is not a good idea,” said officer Steve Hegarty.

September 13 – Florida Man Arrested for Driving His Lawn Mower on the Highway

A Florida man received a DUI charge after drinking and then driving his lawn mower on the highway.

Police officers in Port Lucie noticed a man named Kenneth Burton Alleshouse driving a red Snapper lawn mower. Alleshouse also had a case of beer with him on the mower. He then rode the mower along the 10400 block of state U.S. Highway 1.

The police stopped Alleshouse and noticed the smell of alcohol. After Alleshouse completed a sobriety test, the officers found that his blood alcohol level was three times higher than the 0.8 legal limit.

When asked about how much he drank before getting behind the wheel, Alleshouse said, “Probably enough that I can drive the tractor.”

The police officers disagreed and arrested him for driving under the influence.