From the man who called 911 for a ride to Hooters to the man who tried to get an alligator drunk, the Sunshine State is home to a special breed of guy.
Here are some of the weirdest and wildest headlines that fueled the now-notorious “Florida man” meme. June 11, 2012: Florida man arrested for calling 911 after kitten denied entry into strip club
Everett Lages was arrested outside of Emerald City strip club in Murdock for repeatedly calling the emergency line to report that the club owner had refused to let his kitty into the jiggle joint, deputies said. June 27, 2012: Florida man chews off another man’s face
In what became known as the case of the “Miami Cannibal,” Rudy Eugene gnawed off half of a homeless man’s face while high. The 31-year-old was shot and killed by police after they found him naked and chowing down on human flesh.
Oct. 23, 2014: Florida man once arrested for fighting drag queen with tiki torch runs for mayor
Boyd Corbin was reportedly dressed in an “ironic” KKK costume at a Halloween party in 2012 when he allegedly got into a brawl with a man in drag — leading to his bust for aggravated assault. But that didn’t stop him from running for mayor of the small city of Wilton Manors two years later.
Jan. 1, 2015: Florida man trapped in unlocked closet for two days
John Arwood, 31, and Amber Campbell, 25, thought they were stuck in a janitor’s closet at Daytona State College for two days — before realizing they could just open the door and walk out.
Dec. 7, 2015: Florida man killed by alligator while hiding from cops
Matthew Riggins, 22, was fatally chomped by an 11-foot gator after allegedly breaking into a home then hiding from cops in Barefoot Bay lake. When police found him, the 22-year-old was missing part of his arm. June 8, 2017: Florida man desperate for ride to Hooters calls 911
Jonathan Hinkle allegedly told 911 dispatchers he needed a ride to the provocative eatery to help his grandmother, who had fallen ill. Cops later learned the 28-year-old Merritt Island man’s granny was perfectly fine and Hinkle was arrested on charges of misusing 911.
At least, that’s the idea behind the Florida Man Challenge, a viral social media joke that plays upon the plight of Florida residents who find themselves in strange predicaments – and sometimes in handcuffs.
The challenge started with a simple game: Google “Florida Man” and your birthday to find out what headline turns up.The Florida Man meme dates to 2013, according to website Know Your Meme, focusing on news headlines featuring “bizarre domestic incidents involving a male subject residing in the state of Florida.”
January 2: Florida Man Covers Himself in Ashes, Says He’s a 400-Year-Old Indian, Crashes Stolen Car
January 5: Florida Man Puts Dragon Lizard in His Mouth, Smacks People with ItOct. 7, 2019: Florida man arrested for trying to get alligator drunk Timothy Kepke, 27, allegedly fed some beer to the gator after his pal caught it with his bare hands in Palm City. But the reptile apparently wasn’t a fan of booze and bit him — and both men were later arrested. Oct. 22, 2019: Florida Man on Segway charged with DUI
Andy Sigears, 48, was accused of riding the geeky vehicle while wasted — right in front of a police station, Polk County cops said.
Oct. 23, 2019: Florida man busted feeding iguanas to alligator in jail zoo
Jailbird Jason Aaron Gibson was all allowed to work at a small petting zoo on the Stock Island Detention Center — until fellow inmates ratted him out for feeding the giant lizards to “Irwin” the gator, officials said.
Nov. 6, 2019: Florida man groped Disney World princess while wife sat next to him
Brian Sherman, 51, was accused of “cupping” the costumed character’s right breast for “three to four seconds” during a photo op at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando as his wife took a load off nearby. He was charged with battery. June 11, 2020: Florida man fights off alligator that attacked his dog
Trent Tweddale got into “a tug-of-war match” with the sharp-tooth reptile after it grabbed his 6-year-old pooch, Loki, and pulled the pup into a river. Tweddale, a former Army staff sergeant, “pounded on the gator’s head” until let go of the dog.
see also Trent Tweddale and his dog Loki
Man gets into ‘tug-of-war’ match with alligator that attacked his dog June 16, 2020: Florida man bitten in the face by alligator while playing disc golf
Travis Spitzer, 40, was waist-deep in a lake in Largo, looking for his frisbee when the gator grabbed him by his face and tried to pull him into the water. He broke free and bolted to safety but was hospitalized with gashes on his mug. July 20, 2020: Florida man tries to evade arrest by cartwheeling away from cops
Video footage shows Gianfranco Fernandez, 40, wiggling out of cops’ grasp then launching into a cartwheel outside of a shop in Orlando. The nimble escape artist was later charged with battery on an officer.
Oct. 9, 2020: Florida men catch 18.9-foot Burmese python
Ryan Ausburn and Kevin Pavlidis bagged the scaly behemoth in the everglades, setting a new state record. The previous largest snake was one-tenth of a foot shorter.
Jan. 9, 2018: Florida man tries to steal rack of ribs by stashing it in his pants
When cops busted Maeli Alvarez-Aguilar at an Indiantown store, he allegedly “removed a full rack of ribs from his waistband.” The hungry 26-year-old was also smuggling fried chicken, two packs of hamburger buns and some mashed potatoes, police said. Jan. 8, 2019: Florida man insists syringes pulled from rectum aren’t his
After getting hauled into jail on marijuana charges, Wesley Dasher Scott, allegedly pulled three syringes from his rump during a strip search. Asked why he had the needles, Scott claimed they actually belonged to someone else, Pinellas County cops said. Feb. 13, 2019 : Florida man in dog costume filmed himself having sex with Siberian husky
Christian Stewart Oscar Nichols, 21, allegedly dressed up in the pooch costume, recorded himself getting frisky with his pup, then posted the footage online. The creep was hit with animal cruelty charges. May 9, 2019: Florida man arrested over ‘I eat a–’ sticker
Dillon Shane Webb, 23, was arrested for refusing to remove a sticker on his car that read ‘I eat a–,“ Columbia County cops said. The charges were later dropped after he argued that he’s protected by the First Amendment — no butts about it. Aug. 21, 2019: Florida man arrested after botched castration surgery An elderly Florida man with a twisted castration obsession was busted for allegedly performing an at-home surgery on another guy — whom he met on a dark web fetish site, cops said. Van Ryswyk, 74, allegedly admitted he screwed up the back-alley surgery at his home in Sebring. Sept. 5, 2019: Florida man protects car from Hurricane Dorian by parking it in kitchen Patrick Eldridge, of Jacksonville, drove his Smart car inside his home and into his kitchen to protect it from flooding and wind. “My husband was afraid his car might blow away,” his wife, Jessica, said on Facebook.
Jan. 29, 2019: Florida man thought he was stealing opioids but instead got laxatives, police say
Sept. 7, 2018: Florida man, drunk and naked, allegedly set house on fire in failed cookie baking attempt.