Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Florida News Highlights

  • Shaquille O’Neal…superhero.

    That’s Officer Shaq, to you.

    Shaquille O’Neal, who is in the process of becoming a reserve officer with the Miami Beach Police Department, helped nab the suspect of a hate crime on South Beach early Sunday, police said.

    Two men were walking on Washington Avenue near Third Street about 3 a.m. when two men in a silver Honda yelled anti-gay slurs at them, police said.

    One of the men in the car jumped out and tossed a bottle, hitting the victim in the back.

    The bottle-thrower then got back into the vehicle and the car sped off.

    Witnessing the whole thing?

    “Shaquille O’Neal happened to be driving by and saw the incident in progress, and he followed the vehicle until it turned onto Palm Island,” said police spokesman Robert Hernandez.

    “He flagged down the Miami Beach officer on duty there, and the officer was able to apprehend the subject.”

    That kind of community involvement by Mr. O’Neal — plus standing up against hate crimes — makes the guy a hero in my book.

  • This guy celebrated Talk Like a Pirate Day a little early.

    JACKSONVILLE — A robber swinging a samurai sword sent condiments flying before fleeing with $32 taken from the frightened lunchtime crowd.

    Patrons of the Mudville Grille said the man burst into the restaurant about 11:30 a.m. Monday, waving a sword and yelling he was holding up the place.

    Witnesses said the man whipped the sword across two tables, clearing the tabletops before slamming his hand on the counter.

    Several patrons emptied their pockets and the man grabbed the cash and fled in a green minivan. It was later found abandoned with the sword inside.

    Police said the van and sword were taken in a 2 a.m. robbery. Police said a man broke into a house, took the sword from the top of a television, and threatened the residents into giving him keys to the van and $85.

    Police have identified a suspect in that robbery, but he has not been arrested.

    Officer, look for a guy with parrot crap on his shoulder.