florida crime

For nearly half her life, Ruby Williams has prayed for her daughter, Brenda: "Lord, let her be alive."


Miami Herald

Emory Jones just needs to look at his left arm for a reminder of what happened at Avon Park Youth Academy. There is a faint scar in the shape of a snake above his elbow from when an officer beat him.

Before our current era of creepy clowns (and the problems they cause for professional clowns), there was a killer clown who frustrated Florida detectives for nearly three decades.

The Hamptons condo and apartment complex in Tampa is quintessential Florida. Lush and modern, the stucco homes are painted in a soft rainbow of pastels. All around are palm trees, Spanish moss and lily pads.

"It is a very quiet place. You have a lot of children that live here. A lot of professionals live here, retirees," said resident Michael Colon, 66.

But on May 19, that tranquility was shattered in an improbable case that involves four young roommates at the complex.

Two of the men are dead and the other two are in jail.

Will convicted felons be allowed to vote again in Florida after completing their sentences?

That is the subject of a proposed constitutional amendment that could go to voters as early as the 2018 general election. Monday, the Florida Supreme Court reviewed the language of that amendment, moving it one step closer to the ballot.

Murder witnesses’ personal information would be exempt from Florida’s public records laws under a bill that passed its first House committee Wednesday.

COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS

Three people were killed in 2015 because of what they looked like. In November 2016, signs saying “whites only” and “colored” were taped on the wall above water fountains at a Jacksonville high school.

Lockdown Lifted At Key Biscayne Schools

Dec 2, 2016
Kyle Holsten / WLRN

Authorities lifted the lockdown issued Friday morning  at two Key Biscayne schools when an armed suspect eluded police after breaking into a home, said Key Biscayne Police. 

St. Agnes Academy and Key Biscayne K-8 Center were put in lockdown late Friday morning as police searched for the suspect in an armed home invasion. Students and teachers remained safely in their classrooms during the search, according to both institutions.

A University of South Florida student who claimed that she had been robbed on the Tampa campus earlier this week - one of two crimes she alleges happened to her recently - has been arrested for filing a false police report.

The number of juvenile arrests in Northeast Florida has dropped by more than a quarter over the past five years.  A new report from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice shows the lowest number of juvenile arrests in 40 years, statewide.

Officials say a 4-year-old girl will be reunited with her family in Lakeland, Florida, after she was driven to Tennessee by a man who took her from her home.


DOS.MYFLORIDA.COM

Florida has no shortage of weird and wacky stories that contribute to its reputation as the 'punchline' state.

Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittman has spent decades collecting those stories. He’s made regular use of the #OhFlorida hashtag on Twitter for years thanks to a seemingly endless supply of bizarre news fodder. Now he’s compiled many of his favorites into a book. "Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country" is in bookstores now.

Florida's Crime Rate Drops, But Sexual Assaults Are Rising

Nov 16, 2015

Florida's overall crime rate is dropping, but the number of reported sex offenses and sexual assaults is rising.

George Venios/flickr

Men and women who live together as couples outside of marriage are breaking the law in Florida.

The state statute was enacted in 1868, and an effort is back in Tallahassee to repeal it.

A bill that would end the prohibition against men and women living together "lewdly and lasciviously" passed a House panel Wednesday.

Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka, voted against the bill after asking the sponsor, "Why are you married?”

Study Prompts Call To Expand Juvenile Diversion Programs

Jul 16, 2015
Kittisak / freedigitalphotos.net

A new study on diversion programs for juvenile offenders is helping bolster a call to expand their use in Florida.

Released Wednesday, the report found that a 25 percent increase in the use of civil citations as alternatives to arrest would save taxpayers as much as $61 million --- while keeping kids from handicapping their futures because of common misbehavior such as fighting, drinking or using drugs.