In the latest “Florida Man” story to hit the news, a man was arrested this week after he was spotted eating spaghetti with his hands outside a Naples Olive Garden restaurant on a Sunday afternoon.
According to The Miami Herald, which cited a Naples Police Department report, the man was outside the restaurant screaming expletives at restaurant patrons and asking for money before entering the Olive Garden and continuing that behavior. When police arrived, the 32-year-old man was shirtless, smelled of booze, and was “sitting outside on a bench shoveling spaghetti into his mouth with his hands.”
A restaurant employee named Ronald Worst told police that the man in question threatened him and asked him “whether he had male or female sex organs.”
Police gave the man paper towels to clean off the pasta from his mouth but while in the police car, he smashed his head into the metal cage partition, which required treatment at a local hospital.
The man was arrested for disorderly intoxication and was hit with additional charges of resisting an officer without violence. He was released on a $2,000 bond.
“Florida Man” has been an internet meme for the last few years, often related to bizarre crime stories in the Sunshine State that begin with that phrase. A Florida Man Twitter account, with 435,000 followers, has been documenting the trend for several years.
Last month, many internet users participated in a challenge in which they were asked to Google the phrase “Florida Man” and their own birthday, and to post the first (or most bizarre) news story that came up as a result, per USA Today. The stories have included everything from strange violent crimes to a surprisingly large number of stories involving gators.
The Miami New Times reported in 2015 that one reason for the large number of “Florida Man” news stories is that the state has very liberal open records laws, which means that news outlets have more access to public records, including police reports. The “Sunshine law” has also come into play in regards to public disclosures related to the Robert Kraft criminal charges.
Notable Florida Man stories from 2019 have included “Florida Man Used Tractor To Stop His Wife From Leaving With ‘His Stuff’” (Newsweek), “Florida Man Explains Why He Buried His Friend In His Backyard” (WFLA), “Florida Man in ‘Don’t Take Life So Seriously’ Shirt Arrested On Attempted Murder Charge” (Click Orlando), “Florida Man Attacked, Killed By ‘World’s Most Dangerous Bird’” (Forbes), and “Florida Man Accused Of Firing Pee-Filled Squirt Gun At Woman” (CBS Miami).