Florida Man Headlines – July 30

July 30 – Starbucks Cream Cheese Incident Lands Armed Florida Man in Jail

Omar Wright prefers Dunkin’ Donuts to Starbucks after a drive-through bagel order resulted in his arrest and prosecution for assault with a deadly weapon. The 38-year-old Florida man, who is a resident of Miami Gardens, pulled a gun on a Starbucks barista after becoming enraged over the lack of cream cheese on his bagel; he noticed it was missing after he had already paid and driven away with the order, so he returned to the Starbucks drive-through to loudly express his complaints with generous profanity. Upon being asked to calm down, Wright reached into his pocket and pulled out a pistol.

According to a report by South Florida ABC affiliate WPLG, Wright waved the gun around and yelled “I’m from Carol City” as he berated the 23-year-old barista who later called the police. Unbeknownst to Wright, the barista called her mother, Chief Delma Noel-Pratt of the Miami Gardens Police Department, who tracked him down using the city’s network of traffic cameras and license plate scanners.

Wright had a permit to carry concealed firearms in Florida; he claimed that his gun was coming out of his pocket, so he waived it around to keep it from falling. He was booked at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Downtown Miami on assault and robbery charges, but the prosecutors admitted they made a mistake because Wright had a receipt for the coffee and bagel. A burdened criminal court docket kept Wright in jail for two days until Saturday; after his bond hearing, he was interviewed by a WPLG news crew outside of the metropolitan jail complex, and he called on TV viewers to avoid going to Starbucks by getting their coffee and bagels from Dunkin’ Donuts, where he has never had issues concerning cream cheese.

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July 30 – Florida Man Becomes “Firecracker Man” to Protest Fireworks

The legal history of fireworks in Florida is complicated. For many decades, sales of fireworks were generally prohibited, but things changed in the early 2000s with statutory amendments that allowed sales on Independence Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Some Florida counties and municipalities, particularly beach towns, have enacted ordinances for a full ban, but this is not the case in Cape Coral, where a Florida man unusually expressed his support for prohibition.

Sara Warnecke, a former Rockette who moved to Cape Coral after retiring from the stage, enjoyed setting off fireworks on the Fourth of July, but this did not sit well with one of her neighbors. A few days before the next Independence Day, Warnecke’s security camera system recorded a Florida man approaching her door and yelling “boom-boom, firecracker, bottle rocket,” repeatedly at different times of the night. He also ranted against people who wake him up by setting off fireworks.

By 3:00 a.m., Warnecke had enough of the yelling and stepped outside to confront the man, who wore athletic clothing and continued screaming his “boom, firecracker” mantra before scurrying away. In a telephone interview with NBC2 of Southwest Florida, Warnecke explained that she believed her neighbor was getting even for her enjoyment of fireworks last year. Officers from the Cape Coral Police Department did not identify the man, however, they acknowledged that he could have received a misdemeanor citation for violating noise ordinances.

The fireworks restrictions of Florida resulted in many arrests and citations on the days leading up to July 4, December 31, and January 1. Cape Coral police officers responded to six reports of illegal fireworks displays during the week of this incident; nonetheless, none of them were close to the neighborhood where Warnecke lives.