It's no wonder the strangest headlines come from Florida. Every year, "America's wang" tops the news with another ridiculous story that makes other Americans question, "Should Florida still be part of the US?" If it weren't for Disney World's Epcot and the Harry Potter theme park, the US might have kept the "Sunshine State" a secret. After reading this list of weird things that happened in Florida in 2017, you will totally understand why.
In addition to topping crime charts ranked by state, Florida consistently provides the most bizarre yet hilarious news. Maybe they put something in the water down at the Everglades because these strange events are definitely caused by abnormal people. Crazy and funny are just understatements for these WTF things that happened in Florida this year.
Here are the most unbelievable and weirdest things that happened in Florida in 2017. If you want to see more of this state's strangeness, this is a collection of Florida mugshots that will show you why "America's wang" is a fitting nickname.
Miami Lawyer's Pants Caught On Fire While Defending A Client Accused Of Arson
Stephen Gutierrez was in a Miami-Dade courtroom defending his client - accused of arson - when all of a sudden he started feeling the heat.
No, literally, he felt heat. That's because the electronic cigarette batteries in his back pocket suddenly ignited, setting his pants ablaze. While some accused Gutierrez of staging the situation - and even more joked about how all lawyers are "liars, liars, pants on fire" - he said he sincerely didn't know electronic cigarette batteries could combust.
Luckily Gutierrez was able to rush to a bathroom, throw the batteries in the sink, and return to court - just with one less pant's pocket.
Miami 'Robin Hood' Kidnaps Uber Driver, Robs A Bank, Gives Out Cash On Street
Buckle in - this story has multiple elements of surprise.
An unidentified man in Miami hailed an Uber on January 9. Not a strange event by itself, right? He then forced his Uber driver to help him rob a bank. And then the Uber driver, called Mikebilly So-Focused, broadcasted it on Facebook Live. And that's not even the craziest part. The man - dressed in a suit and tie - took the cash he stole from a South Beach credit union and started handing it out to people on the street, all while Mikebilly kept filming.
"I'm going to surrender once I give away this money to people who are poor, then I'll surrender," the man said on the video. Why was he so riled up? He explains: "I want people to listen to me and for them to stop lying to us. They're lying to us. They're telling us that Russia hacked the election and they're trying to start a war."
Naturally he finished his crime spree by calling in a bomb threat.
Good Samaritan Helps Reunite A Child With Her Parents, Gets Beat Up By Her Dad
A Good Samaritan in Lakeland, FL, almost immediately regretted doing his good deed after he got beat up pretty badly. A man was at a sports complex when he saw a two-year-old girl wandering around by herself. He approached the girl and realized she was lost. Together they walked over to the playground to find her parents, but when one of the adults the parents were with saw the man, they thought he was up to something much more nefarious.
They thought he was kidnapping the girl, so they ganged up on him from behind. They knocked him to the ground, started kicking him, and beating him. Only after he endured a severe thrashing did anyone realize he was actually trying to do something nice.
Deputy Defrauds Elderly Woman Before Stealing Her Dog And Trying To Kill Her
A Sarasota County Sheriff's deputy was arrested after he cashed fraudulent checks he stole from an elderly woman's account - totaling $65,000 - and then tried to kill her when she confronted him about the theft. As she lay dying he stole her dog and sold it on Craigslist. Talk about adding insult to injury.
Thankfully the woman was transported to a hospital where she recovered. Deputy Frankie Bybee, 46, forced the woman to take an overdose of pills and staged the scene to look like a suicide. He is charged with attempted murder among other things.