Florida Man Stories – August 2

August 2 – Trigger-Happy Florida Man Shot His Friend in the Stomach in a Prank Gone Wrong

When gun control activists in the Sunshine State want to get a point across, they often cite a “Florida man” incident that underscores why they support more restrictions on firearm sales and possession. The tragic story of Adam Anthony Navarro, a 31-year-old resident of Miami who was shot in the gut by his best friend, often comes up in this regard.

Navarro and his friend planned a fishing trip to the Florida Keys on a breezy Sunday morning. One of the perks of living in Miami is the short drive to the Channel 5 Bridge, where you can cast lines from mangrove isles as you enjoy the stunning sunrises of the Atlantic. This is where Navarro was shot in the stomach; he stepped away from his fishing spot to hide in the wooded area where they had parked their car, and he intended to pull a scare-prank on his friend.

To make the prank even scarier, Navarro brought an extra set of clothes that he changed into before choosing a hiding spot behind the trees. This element of surprise added too much authenticity to the prank because Navarro’s friend pulled out a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and shot him once in the stomach. Paramedics arrived quickly, and they determined that Navarro had to be airlifted to the Jackson South hospital for emergency surgery.

Although gun control laws in Florida were strengthened in 2018 after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the Everytown for Gun Safety organization ranks the state at 22 on its national list.

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August 2 – After Stealing a Floating Tiki Bar, Florida Man Fought Police Officers at the Hospital

Tyln Earl Morlang, a 26-year-old tourist from Missouri, became a Florida man after he ended up on the evening news while visiting Key West. According to a report published by the Miami Herald and later broadcast by WSVN Channel 7, Morlang stole a tiki bar and took it on an overnight joy cruise around the Florida Keys; he was arrested by the United States Coast Guard before being turned over to the Key West Police Department, and he was later tased at a medical center while fighting the arresting officers.

According to the WSVN news report, Morlang stole the floating bar from Cruisin’ Tikis Key West, a company that offers tiki bar cruises for up to six passengers. The theft happened at night; Morlang jumped a fence to enter the marina section of Cruisin’ Tikis, and he quickly unmoored one of the tiki bars to get underway. The floating bar is a gasoline-powered motor vessel equipped with an outboard engine, VHF marine radio, flotation devices, and emergency signals; however, it is designed to slowly cruise for a couple of hours before running out of fuel.

When Morlang was arrested at sea, the tiki bar was drifting in the direction of Cuba. The Coast Guard officers noticed that he was very drunk and incoherent. He had set fires aboard throughout the night to stay warm; many tourists don’t think that temperatures at sea around the Florida Keys can dip significantly after midnight.

While stealing the floating tiki bar was the first incident that turned Morlang from a visitor into a Florida man, he also tried to fake a cardiac condition to avoid going to jail, but he was ultimately subdued with a Taser weapon when he tried to fight police officers from his hospital bed.