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Fugitive leaves 'I'm not here' note on mattress, gets caught hiding in dresser, deputies say

A Florida fugitive wrote a note on a mattress for Flagler County deputies, stating that he was aware of the warrant out for his arrest, a news release said.

>> See the news release here

Deputies said there was an active warrant for Jesse Pack, 40, of Bunnell, out of Volusia County on charges of kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

>> On WFTV.com: Good Samaritan's truck stolen as he stopped to help in fiery Florida crash, officials say

Deputies arrived at the Bunnell home on County Road 200 Sunday night and found a mattress with writing on it placed by the front door, the Sheriff’s Office said

The note reportedly stated: “I know my warrant is active. I’m not here. I am finishing a job and turning myself in to Volusia Branch Jail!! - Jesse Pack.” 

>> See the note here

A woman told deputies Pack was not home and she granted them permission to search the house, authorities said.

Deputies said they found Pack curled up into the fetal position inside a small wooden dresser with a pillow. Pack had a pack of cigarettes and a glass pipe with burnt residue, deputies said.

Pack told deputies he hid in the dresser when he heard dogs barking, believing he was going to be arrested, a news release said.

>> Read more trending news 

“Ready or not, here we come!” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This guy clearly thought he could hide from our deputies, but this is not the first ‘cat and mouse’ game a fugitive has tried to play.”

Pack was taken into custody. In addition to the Volusia County charges, he has been charged with resisting arrest without violence and possession of drug paraphernalia by Flagler County deputies, officials said.

Pack was taken to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, where he was being held on $1,000 bail for the Flagler County charges. He’s awaiting extradition for the Volusia County charges.

Good Samaritan's truck stolen as he stopped to help in fiery Florida crash, officials say

You know the phrase, “No good deed goes unpunished?” In this case, it was true.

>> Watch the news report here

A good Samaritan stopped to help when he witnessed a fiery crash Monday night on I-95 in Volusia County, Florida.

To his surprise, one of the crashed drivers stole the good Samaritan’s truck and drove away, authorities said.

>> On WFTV.com: Fugitive reportedly leaves 'I'm not here' message on mattress for Florida deputies

A sheriff’s deputy at the scene issued a countywide alert for the stolen truck and its driver, and it wasn’t long before the suspected thief, Zachary Searls, 27, was found, authorities said.

Deputies ran the crashed vehicle’s tag and found an address in Daytona Beach registered to the car, investigators said. When they arrived, deputies saw the stolen truck parked in the driveway, authorities said.

Searls exited the house and walked toward the truck, but upon seeing the deputies, he turned around and went into the house, investigators said. Searls was taken into custody.

>> Click here to watch body camera video from the scene

The victim was brought to the home, where he identified Searls, authorities said. Deputies said they also spoke with Searls’ roommate, who said he had allowed Searls to borrow his father’s car.

>> Read more trending news 

Searls was taken to the Volusia County Jail where he remains on $6,000 bail. He is charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a crash with injuries, not having a valid driver’s license and resisting an officer without violence.

The Florida Highway Patrol investigated the crash. Officials said the other driver involved in the crash was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach with injuries considered non-life-threatening. 

Florida woman attacks parents for refusing to take her to Outback Steakhouse, deputies say

A Florida woman attacked her parents last week following a dispute over Outback Steakhouse, deputies said.

According to WPLG, Deana Seltzer, 28, of Lake Worth, was arrested Jan. 2 on charges of simple battery, battery of a person 65 or older and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said.

>> Read more trending news 

Authorities said Seltzer repeatedly punched her mother, scratched her father, flipped a glass table and destroyed furniture after her mother said she wouldn't take her to the popular chain restaurant, ABC News reported.

Deputies also said Seltzer grabbed a 12-inch knife and chased her father while screaming, "I'm going to (expletive) kill you," WPLG reported.

Seltzer was booked in the Palm Beach County jail, then released the next day on "supervised recognizance," ABC News reported.

Read more here or here.

Florida man hit dad in face with pizza after learning he helped deliver him, police say

A Florida man who found out his father helped deliver him when he was born inexplicably smashed hot pizza in the older man’s face upon learning the news, police officials said. 

Robert Thomas Houston, 33, of Holiday, is charged with domestic battery, according to Pasco County Jail records. He remained in the county jail Monday in lieu of $150 bond. 

WFLA in Tampa reported that sheriff’s deputies were called Thursday to the Houston family’s home, where they found a pizza slice on a chair and cheese and sauce strewn around the room. According to an arrest report obtained by the news station, Houston’s father told the deputies that his son became angry after learning he’d helped deliver him in 1985. 

>> Read more trending news

The man said that he’d gone for a walk with his dogs as his son waited on the porch for a pizza to be delivered, WFLA reported. When he returned from the walk, his son held him down in a chair, smashing the pizza in his face and screaming at him. 

“The victim began to flail around, trying to get the defendant off of him, at which point the defendant went outside and awaited law enforcement,” the report obtained by the news station said

The responding deputies found Houston waiting for them.

“He walked up to me and turned around putting his hands behind his back, saying he knows I'm going to take him to jail,” a deputy wrote in the report. 

It was not known why the news surrounding his birth upset Houston, WFLA reported. Two family members present at the time of the attack corroborated the father’s statements. 

Jail records indicate Tuesday is Houston’s 34th birthday. 

Florida man attacks McDonald's employees in dispute over straws, police say

A Florida man is behind bars after witnesses say he grabbed a female McDonald's employee and kicked another in the stomach after a dispute over a straw.

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, Daniel Taylor, 40, was arrested Monday on simple battery charges after the incident, which was caught on video by a customer. The clip quickly went viral, racking up more 3.3 million views on Facebook by Thursday morning.

>> Watch the video here (WARNING: Linked video contains graphic language and content.)

He didn't see any drinking straws (in the lobby), so he yelled out to the employees he needs a straw: 'Looks like somebody's not doing their job up in here,'" witness Brenda Biandudi, who recorded the video, told WTVT

>> Read more trending news 

Under a new city law, straws are provided only to customers who ask for them. When the clerk explained that's why the dispenser was empty, Taylor began arguing with her, then grabbed her shirt, Biandudi said.

The video shows the employee fighting back as other employees step in.

"She mentioned to me that she used to box," Biandudi told Spectrum News.

St. Petersburg police said Taylor kicked a second female worker in the stomach on his way out of the restaurant. He was arrested shortly afterward following "a report of an un-armed robbery" nearby, police said.

Read more here.

>> See the Facebook post here

Florida lifeguards find brick of cocaine with $35K street value on beach

Police say lifeguards found a brick of cocaine in the beach in Florida last week.

TCPalm reported that Vero Beach police Lt. Matt Harrelson said the package was wrapped in plastic. It had a street value of $35,000.

>> Read more trending news 

The brick likely came from a drug boat transporting drugs somewhere else, police told TCPalm.

“(Drug cartels) would see it as the cost of doing business,” Harrelson said of the lost brick. “There’s a lot more cocaine on the streets.”

Harrelson said officers searched the beaches for other bricks that may have washed up. The cocaine that was found was sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Florida man arrested after trying to pay for McDonald's with marijuana, police say

A Florida man was jailed after he attempted to pay for his McDonald’s drive-thru order with a bag of marijuana.

The Port St. Lucie Police Department said in a Facebook post Monday that a McDonald’s employee contacted them at 2 a.m. saying that a man, later identified as Anthony Andrew Gallagher, was in the drive-thru trying to exchange marijuana for food.

>> Read more trending news 

The Associated Press reported that the worker denied Anthony Andrew Gallagher’s offer and he drove off.

“Once on scene police took the description of the suspect and remained in the area,” the department said in the Facebook post. “A short time later, the suspect again went through the drive-thru of the McDonald’s.”

An officer approached Gallagher, noticing a strong odor of marijuana from his car.

“Police found approximately 11 grams of marijuana on the suspect,” the department said. “The suspect told police that he did offer marijuana in exchange for food, but that he did so as a joke.”

Gallagher was arrested for possession of marijuana under 20 grams and booked in the St. Lucie County Jail. An inmate search of the jail did not turn up results for the suspect.

83-year-old Florida woman caught stealing $97 bottles of wine, deputies say

Sheriff’s deputies in Orange County, Florida, said they have charged an 83-year-old woman with shoplifting after she allegedly tried to steal bottles of wine worth almost $100 each.

The woman allegedly brought some sort of tool to help remove the security devices from the bottles, deputies said.

Deputies said a loss prevention officer at the Whole Foods in Dr. Phillips called authorities after seeing a woman in the wine aisle on Nov. 13 pick up two bottles of Chimney Rock Elevage, which is valued at $97.99 each, and place them on top of her cart.

>> Read more trending news 

After placing the wine on top of her cart, deputies said she was then seen removing the security devices, putting them in a plastic produce bag that she then stuffed into a vest pocket.

According to deputies, the woman moved the wine into her bag, bought a pack of chocolate crackers at the checkout, then left the store without paying for the wine.

The woman, identified as 83-year-old Bae Kyoon Kim of Orlando, was arrested on Nov. 19 without incident, deputies said.

The store said it does wish to prosecute, according to deputies.

Man shot at Florida laundromat; suspect returns hours later to finish laundry, police say

A shooting at a laundromat in Cocoa, Florida, left one person injured, police said, and the person initially arrested was released hours later, returning to the laundromat to finish doing laundry.

>> Watch the news report here

The shooting happened at about 11 a.m. on the 1000 block of Dixon Boulevard near Pineda Street, officials said.

Cocoa police said one man was airlifted to a hospital. 

Detectives took somebody into custody for questioning, but that person was later released because the police say the shooting was self defense.

>> Read more trending news 

"I just heard a lot of arguing. The shooter saying something about, 'Back up and get away from me," said a laundromat employee who did not want to be identified.

Cocoa police said the two were arguing about a failed relationship between each other's relatives.

Neither the condition of the wounded man nor the names of those involved have been released.

>> See the Facebook post here

Florida woman on molly, meth fractures baby's skull while darting through traffic, deputies say

A 23-year-old Leesburg, Florida, woman who said she had been taking molly and meth for three days seriously injured her infant son early Monday while running from deputies near the Silver Springs neighborhood, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.

>> Watch the news report here

Deputies said they were called after witnesses said they saw a woman darting through traffic while holding a baby near County Road 315 and State Road 40.

Witnesses said they suspected she was on drugs because she was barking at passing cars, investigators said.

>> On WFTV.com: Deputies: Florida man steals almost $50K for new smile, puppy

Deputies said they spotted Kayla Morgan walking with the infant on State Road 40.

Investigators said a deputy tried to speak with Morgan, but she ran away, narrowly missing vehicles.

Morgan walked across the road in a zig-zag pattern while carrying the child "as if she (were) carrying a jacket draped over her right arm, allowing the victim to flail," an arrest report said.

She hid behind vehicles, sprinted and "deliberately dropped the victim head first" on the side of the road, the report said.

>> Read more trending news 

The deputy shocked Morgan with a Taser twice and arrested her, officials said. They said she was grunting and making other abnormal sounds.

The deputy sat Morgan in her patrol car and asked her what her name is, to which she replied with an expletive.

"She advised she believed I was a monster trying to suck her blood," the deputy wrote in the report.

Investigators said the boy's skull was fractured from being thrown to the ground.

>> On WFTV.com: Deputies: Serial killer confesses to Marion County murder 36 years later

A worker at an apartment complex where Morgan lives told WFTV that she moved there about two months ago and that the infant is about 6 weeks old.

Morgan is being held without bail at the Marion County Jail on charges of aggravated child abuse and resisting an officer without violence.

The case is being investigated by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Florida man tries to steal vending machine

A Florida man tried to steal a vending machine from an apartment building in May.

>> Read more trending news 

“He was quite brazen and he was all caught on camera,” Kenia Fallat, Miami police spokesman, told WSVN.

In the video, he attempts to maneuver the big machine by scooting it inch by inch. After about three minutes, he pushes the machine full of food onto the elevator and takes it from the first floor up to the eighth.

“When he got to the eighth floor, he pushed it into the hallway and it appears that he was intending to take the money that was inside the vending machine,” Fallat said.

The machine was found with damage to the money slot, but the man had no luck getting inside to take money or food.

Police are looking for the man seen in the video.

Florida man's mug shot ridiculed on social media

Florida man's mug shot has gone viral after Facebook users commented on the unusual size of his neck. 

>> Read more trending news 

Charles Dion McDowell, 31, was arrested Friday in Pensacola on drug charges, including fleeing police and possession of meth and cocaine, investigators said.

"McDowell is currently a guest at the GoldStar Hotel with a bond of $57,000," the Escambia County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post

But McDowell's arrest wasn't the reason the agency's Facebook post garnered over 200,000 shares -- and counting. It was his mug shot. Here's a sampling of the 250,000 comments: 

Belligerent, inebriated off-duty officer kicked off flight, deputies say

An off-duty police officer was arrested on suspicion of engaging in intoxicated and belligerent behavior that included refusing to get off a plane, pushing a flight attendant and grabbing his son by the neck in a threatening way, investigators said. 

>> Read more trending news 

With bloodshot eyes and reeking of alcohol, Derrick Gilbert tried to find his seat among the 133 other passengers aboard an Allegiant Airlines flight to Greensboro, North Carolina, from St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport around 6:30 p.m. Friday, according to Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies. 

Flight attendants said Gilbert looked confused and was unable to find his seat. He slurred his words and had glassy eyes, they said. 

The flight attendants assessed that Gilbert was too inebriated to fly and asked him to get off the plane, investigators said. 

At first he refused, but flight attendants eventually were able to get Gilbert off the plane. 

As he was getting off the plane Gilbert pushed flight attendant Kelby Oats, 25, investigators said witnesses told them. Gilbert also violently pushed and grabbed the neck of Tai Gilbert, his 18-year-old son, in a threatening way when he tried to convince him to get off the plane, investigators said.

Once off, he refused to leave the airport. He said deputies could not arrest him because he worked with the Sarasota Police Department, investigators said. 

Deputies then took Gilbert, who Sarasota police confirmed worked with its department, into custody without further incident.

Gilbert was arrested and charged with trespassing on property other than structure or conveyance, battery and domestic battery, investigators said.

Oats and Tai Gilbert were not injured.

Former Trump official, Omarosa Newman's ballot thrown out in Florida election

One of the many provisional ballots that were not counted Thursday in Duval County belonged to none other than Omarosa Newman. Yes, that Omarosa: the former Trump White House official who was fired by chief of staff John Kelly back in December.

>> Read more trending news 

She was once one of President Donald Trump’s loyal allies and served as his communications director for the Office of Public Liaison.

Newman relocated to Jacksonville after marrying a local pastor, John Newman. 

During Thursday’s review of provisional ballots in Duval County, a member of the canvassing board said, “Omarosa Newman, registered late” and then moved onto the next ballot.

Her vote did not count.

Late registration was one of the most common reasons given during the review of the ballots.

Action News Jax reached out to Omarosa Newman, who said she’s now fighting for her vote to count. 

She claims to have registered to vote on Oct. 9, which was the last day of voter registration. She’s now working with a local attorney.

She tweeted a reminder Oct. 9 to register to vote.

Florida Highway Patrol cruiser catches fire after 142 mph chase

A Florida Highway Patrol car caught on fire after a trooper reached speeds of 142 mph while pursuing a speeding driver.

>> Read more trending news 

The video released Tuesday is from April 29, and shows the trooper make a U-turn through a highway median to chase a Toyota RAV4 speeding in the opposite direction.

In it, the trooper, who has not been identified, can be seen weaving through traffic at well over 110 mph, using the shoulder to get around other drivers and eventually catching up to the RAV4, which pulls over in the grassy median.

“I don’t recommend doing that -- what I just did,” the trooper can be heard saying in the video. “But I don’t do it that so often, so.”

He then smells smoke and reverses the cruiser as flames begin to appear atop the dry grass.

“I think my car is trying to catch on fire,” the trooper says.

The trooper gets out with a fire extinguisher before calling for help.

“My car’s catching on fire,” he says.

As plumes of smoke begin to billow he tells the driver he pulled over to leave.

“Go, go, go,” he says.

The driver had been pulled over for going an estimated 90 mph, according to Jalopnik.

The Florida Highway Patrol did not comment to Fox News about the incident.

This is not the first video showing a lead-footed trooper.

A trooper was fired in July after a video surfaced in February that showed him racing a Lamborghini on the highway, WBBH reported.

Ride at Florida fair fails inspection because of missing $2.50 part

A ride at the Jacksonville Fair failed inspection and is closed because of a $2.50 piece of steel.

>> Read more trending news 

State inspectors found the Tornado ride has bearing bolt damage.

“The tornado is missing one of 36 fasteners. It is perfectly safe to operate in the condition that it’s in. However, we feel that it is not worth pushing anyone’s luck, if you will,” said Belle City Amusements General Manager Zack Panacek.

Panacek said he ordered a new bolt and hopes to have the ride back open Saturday.

“No one’s life is worth any shortcut,” Panacek said.

He said it’s the first time since the company took over the Jacksonville Fair in 2009 that it’s been unable to open a ride by the time the gates opened.

By Action News Jax’s count, state inspectors discovered problems on 37 out of 61 rides earlier this week.

Those deficiencies included a cable clamp that was installed backwards, a missing safety sign, sharp edges and cracked fiberglass.

Only the Tornado failed inspection.

It’s not the first time rides at the Jacksonville Fair have had issues.

In 2014, an 11-year-old boy was stuck with a sewing needle on the Ali-Baba ride.

Florida cops eat donuts after finding stolen Krispy Kreme truck

Only in Florida

This theft story has a wonderful ending -- the theft of a Krispy Kreme doughnut truck in Columbia County ended with free food being offered to homeless people from the police officers who found the truck. 

>> Read more trending news 

The truck was making deliveries in Lake City when it was stolen, police said

The Krispy Kreme delivery van was stolen Tuesday in Lake City and recovered nearly 200 miles away in Clearwater. There were still dozens of doughnuts aboard the stolen vehicle, so the store manager turned the treats over to the police officers. 

The cops ate a few of them but mainly saved them for the homeless to eat later that day. 

Plywood from truck bed slices through woman's windshield on Florida freeway

A woman suffered minor injuries last week when a piece of plywood struck the front of her windshield as she was driving on I-95 in Brevard County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

>> See photos from the scene here

>> Read more trending news 

FHP said Rebecca Burgman, 35, was driving north on I-95 behind Jaime Riveira’s pickup truck when the piece of plywood, which had been secured in the bed of the truck, became loose and hit Burgman’s windshield.

>> On WFTV.com: Palm Bay officer injured in crash, police say

Riveira, 51, of Haines City, was ticketed for faulty equipment and failing to secure the load, FHP said.

Woman sets underwear rack on fire at Florida Macy's, police say

Police in Ocala, Florida, say they are looking for a woman who allegedly committed arson inside a Macy’s Tuesday morning.

>> Watch the news report here

Officers said the woman entered the department store at the Paddock Mall shortly after 10 a.m. and walked around the store for approximately 45 minutes.

Police said at some point the woman set fire to a rack of underwear.

“It was a bunch of smoke rolling out and people were walking – running outside,” said Kortnee Eubanks, who was in the store at the time. 

“The [Macy’s] staff believe that they smelled gas, so we’re not sure if she tried to set the fire to other area and this was just the only area where she was successful. She was in the store for some time,” said Ocala Police spokesperson Meghan Shay.

>> Read more trending news 

No one was hurt by the flames. 

A message on Paddock Mall’s website Tuesday afternoon said Macy’s will be closed for the remainder of the day.

“The safety of our shoppers, retailers and employees is our top priority. We are working closely with the Ocala Police Department as they investigate this incident further,” said the mall’s website.

Surveillance video from police shows a vehicle in which they believe the woman left. It appears to be a dark gray four-door sedan.

Ocala police ask anyone with information to contact them at 352-369-7000.

>> Watch the surveillance video here

'Emotional support' squirrel gets woman kicked off Frontier flight

A Frontier Airlines passenger at Florida's Orlando International Airport was removed from her flight by police Tuesday after she tried to bring her "emotional support" squirrel on board

The woman refused to get off the Cleveland-bound plane, so the crew called police. 

>> No dogs in shopping carts: Publix enforcing service pet policies

Frontier Airlines officials said the woman noted in her reservation that she was bringing an emotional support animal but did not indicate it was a squirrel. 

Rodents, including squirrels, are not allowed on Frontier flights, officials said. 

The crew asked the woman to get off the plane, but she allegedly refused. Orlando police were called and asked everyone to deplane so they could deal with the woman. 

Officers eventually escorted the passenger off the plane and brought her to the main terminal. 

Video shows crowds cheering as she was taken off the plane. 

>> See the video here

The incident is one of many recent cases involving emotional support animals on planes. 

In another case, a woman tried to get an emotional support peacock through security at Newark. 

In the last year, all the major airlines have changed their policies for bringing animals into the cabin. 

>> Read more trending news 

Most airlines require a note from a doctor, advanced notification and the animal’s vaccine records. 

Most airlines have also restricted which types of support animals are allowed on board. 

Delta, for example, has banned goats, hedgehogs and any animals with horns.

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