Florida Man Report – September 2

September 2 – Florida Woman Arrested After “Hoof” and Run

A Florida woman took a couple of friends for a joyride in a stolen vehicle. Once she was followed by police, on the road and in the air, she crashed the stolen SUV into a stop sign. From there, she went one way, another passenger went the other direction, and the other stayed in the car.

All three were arrested, but the driver faced a few four-footed hazards along the way. She attempted to cross a field that was occupied by a herd of cows. A beef cow can weigh up to 2,500 pounds, so the risks to her were pretty intense. Once the cows started running, the risks got worse.

Cows are herd animals. It’s possible to control a group of cows with a couple of well-trained dogs. Once they start moving in one direction, they’ll all join in. If you’re running across a pasture that is full of cows and you’re noticed, they’ll move towards you. Get them excited and they’ll run towards you.

From the air, indications are that the running cattle made the chase easier for humans to complete. Many cows, running in the same direction, are pretty obvious. Once the police chopper occupants were able to notify cops on the ground that the driver was at the front of the pack, they were able to pick her up.

Indications are that neither the woman nor any of the cattle were injured in this interesting game of follow the leader.

Ultimately the lesson is this: If you’re inclined to steal an SUV, crash it and flee on foot, be very careful about your chosen jogging path. If you enter a crowded field, you may end up being pursued by more than the police.

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September 2 – Florida Man Commits Cruelty to Animals in Effort to Build Fighting Skills

Rocco Mantella made an unfortunate workout choice in parks in the Lake Eola area. He’s apparently been working on his karate skills by kicking swans as hard as possible. Thankfully, others using the park without abusing the wildlife saw him and called the police.

Mantella, a 34 year old adult, is charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty and received a $1,000 fine. Unlike milder charges of animal cruelty, the allegation is that this animal abuser was intentionally trying to kill or seriously injure the animals.

Swans top out at approximately 24 pounds in adulthood. While Mantella’s weight is not known, the average weight of an American man between the ages of 30 and 39 is approximately 200 pounds.

Mr. Mantella’s choice of sparring partner is disconcerting. How is aiming karate kicks at an animal that you outweigh by several times going to improve your skills? Was he working to be faster than the swan?

It’s true that a swan, running at you with wings spread and squawking wildly, can be alarming. However, swans have hollow bones and are unlikely to cause an adult harm. It’s possible that a swan can knock down or just terrify a small child. However, most swan attacks on humans occur when the human has gotten too close to the nest of a swan and/or their mate.

The hollow bone factor is of great concern. None of the swans that Mantella was seen striking have been found. Their condition is unknown and there may be swans in the parks around Orlando that are injured and in need of care. Authorities remind citizens that animal cruelty extends beyond pets; your actions in the world outside your home can get you into costly trouble.