Florida Man Report – July 31

July 31 – Unusual Pothole Repair by Florida Man Involved Planting a Banana Tree

Some of the most colorful means of conveying messages of protests come from the Sunshine State, where you can always bet a Florida man will get his point across. Such was the case with Bryan Raymond of Fort Myers, a business owner who planted a banana tree near his business to cover up a large pothole that had been damaging cars and disrupting traffic.

Raymond operates a fitness center located near the Page Field flight training facility of Lee County. His business is part of a commercial district where there are city, county, and private roads. Months after opening the gym, Raymond noticed that potholes forming on Honda Drive kept getting wider and deeper, causing many drivers to bottom out. After hearing his clients mention the potholes, he consulted with the public works departments of Lee County and Fort Myers; he learned that Honda Drive is a private street that should be maintained by business owners.

In the beginning, Raymond mixed and poured cement to fix the potholes because the property managers never determined who should be responsible for road maintenance; they also mentioned that Honda Drive stopped being a private street years before, so they insinuated that the Fort Myers public works department was dodging responsibility. One particular pothole in the middle of the street resisted the cement repairs and continued to get larger, so he mixed gravel with fertilized soil to plant a young banana tree.

The combination of sunshine, summer rains, and fertile Florida soil helped the banana tree to bloom, grow, and mature nicely in just two weeks, thus prompting CBS News correspondents from Miami to visit and interview Raymond as well as his neighbors about the handsome banana tree in the middle of the road. The consensus from drivers is that it looks great despite being awkward, and it is easier to avoid than a pothole.

See Also:

July 31 – Florida Man Caught Trying to Steal Horses to Ride Home

Mark Anthony Hunt, a 55-year-old resident of Fruitland Park, was arrested by deputies from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for breaking into a horse ranch and trying to get a bareback ride home. A Facebook update posted by the sheriff’s department indicated that Hunt was severely intoxicated at the time of his arrest, which unfolded on a Tuesday night.

Hunt climbed a fence to enter the horse ranch; he walked around the barns until he stopped at the horse stalls. He later told the deputies that he tried to jump on one of the horses, a buck, in an attempt to get a ride to his house a couple of miles away. The buck got away from the Florida man, who then decided to open the rest of the stalls one by one. Hunt’s motivation for opening the stalls was humane; according to the arrest report, he told the officers that he believed horses should roam free instead of being caged.

A security guard at the ranch spotted several horses roaming in the dark far from their stalls, so he started to corral them before going to check the barn. While rounding up the horses, the guard saw a pickup truck owned by his boss moving towards one of the ranch exits, which was surprising because none of the owners were there. Hunt was initially detained at the ranch by the security team until the deputies arrived; he was ultimately booked for trespassing, grand theft auto, and grand theft equine. Lake County is part of Florida’s horse country, where thoroughbreds are often valued at $80,000.