Florida Hangs

Florida Man Hangs On to Hood of Big Rig for Dear Life on Highway – TMZ

Florida Man
Clings to Hood of Big Rig Truck
Hangs on for Dear Life

8/1/2020 1:46 PM PT

Florida man strikes again — only this time, he’s in action hero mode, which looks way more terrifying in real life than it does on the big screen.

This insanity went down Saturday in the Sunshine State somewhere along I-95 — where a big rig was cruising down the highway at a pretty fast clip with a HUMAN BEING stuck on its hood outside … clinging on for dear life.

The driver didn’t seem super agro … trying to shake the guy off by jerking the steering wheel back and forth, and weaving in and out of traffic lanes. The two people who captured this pulled up alongside them — you can hear the guy clinging to the truck scream for help.

It looks like something out of a movie — maybe “Mission: Impossible” or something — but it’s all too real … and it’s freaky AF. What’s even crazier … the driver didn’t stop at first, he just kept on going and tried finding other ways to shake the dude off … like hard braking.

Eventually, it looks like the cops pulled the truck over and got things under control. We don’t know if anyone was cited or arrested. It’s also unclear what triggered this.

Florida, man … they stay wildin’ out there.

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Florida teenager

Florida teenager facing 30 felony charges over Twitter hack | TheHill – The Hill

A Florida teenager and two others have been arrested for allegedly being behind a major Twitter hack earlier this month that resulted in several prominent accounts posting messages for a bitcoin scam.

The Department of Justice announced that U.K. resident Mason Shepard, 19, and Orlando resident Nima Fazeli, 22, who go by the hacking aliases “Chaewon” and “Rolex” respectively, were charged with helping carry out the hack. A third person, a 17-year-old who lives in Tampa, has also been charged.

The 17-year-old is facing 30 felony charges including organized fraud, communications fraud, identity theft and hacking, carrying potential penalties of more than $100,000. Those charges have been filed by Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren in Florida, who described the teenager as the “mastermind” of the hack.

Shepard and Fazeli, meanwhile, have been charged in federal court in California. Shepard was charged with computer intrusion, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, with the most serious charge bringing 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Fazeli was charged with one count of computer intrusion, which carries a max sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine.

The hack, which took place July 15, affected a number of prominent Twitter accounts, including those of former President Obama, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump campaign cancels ad buys to review messaging strategy: report Nunes declines to answer if he received information from Ukraine lawmaker meant to damage Biden Poll: Plurality of ‘Gen Z’ voters say they see more political ads from Trump than Biden MORE, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskReforming environmental review to build a cleaner and brighter future Is it time to designate social media as ‘critical infrastructure’? Hillicon Valley: Senior intelligence official warns Russia, Iran and China targeting elections | Trump says he ‘often’ regrets his tweets | Tech CEO hearing postponed for John Lewis services MORE, among others.

Authorities say the defendants were able to reap more than $100,000 in bitcoin by posting messages on the hacked accounts asking followers to send funds.

Twitter later said that the hackers obtained employee credentials, allowing them to target 130 accounts, tweeting from 45, accessing direct message inboxes of 36 and downloading data from seven. Twitter temporarily prevented verified accounts from tweeting on the day of the incident, and announced an immediate investigation into what occurred.

“There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be perpetrated anonymously and without consequence,” U.S. Attorney David Anderson said in a statement Friday. “Today’s charging announcement demonstrates that the elation of nefarious hacking into a secure environment for fun or profit will be short-lived. Criminal conduct over the Internet may feel stealthy to the people who perpetrate it, but there is nothing stealthy about it.”

“In particular, I want to say to would-be offenders, break the law, and we will find you,” Anderson said.

The FBI announced earlier this month that it was launching an investigation into the hack. Special Agent in Charge John Bennett on Friday highlighted the unusual speed of the charges being brought against the defendants.

“While investigations into cyber breaches can sometimes take years, our investigators were able to bring these hackers into custody in a matter of weeks,” Bennett said. “Regardless of how long it takes us to identify hackers, we will follow the evidence to where it leads us and ultimately hold those responsible for cyber intrusions accountable for their actions. Cyber criminals will not find sanctuary behind their keyboards.”

The state attorney told local NBC affiliate WFLA that the 17-year-old in Florida was arrested by federal authorities on Friday and turned over to state officials, who have filed charges against him.

“Working together, we will hold this defendant accountable,” Warren said in a statement. “Scamming people out of their hard-earned money is always wrong. Whether you’re taking advantage of someone in person or on the internet, trying to steal their cash or their cryptocurrency—it’s fraud, it’s illegal, and you won’t get away with it.” 

The Internal Revenue Service and the Secret Service were also involved in the investigation into the hack.

Twitter has posted consistent updates on its investigation into the hacking incident, tweeting Thursday night that the hackers gained access to the accounts through a mobile phone spear phishing attack. This attack allowed the individuals to obtain the credentials of Twitter employees with access to the compromised accounts.

Twitter said it had “significantly limited access to internal tools and systems” as it continued to make improvements stemming from the hacking incident.

“This was a striking reminder of how important each person on our team is in protecting our service,” the company tweeted. “We take that responsibility seriously and everyone at Twitter is committed to keeping your information safe.”

“We appreciate the swift actions of law enforcement in this investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case progresses,” Twitter said in a statement Friday.

We appreciate the swift actions of law enforcement in this investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case progresses. For our part, we are focused on being transparent and providing updates regularly.

For the latest, see here :point_down:

— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) July 31, 2020

Updated: 4:58 p.m.

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Couple Florida

Florida couple jailed for breaking COVID-19 quarantine as state breaks daily death record — again – NBC News

A Florida couple on Key West that tested positive for the coronavirus was arrested for defying a quarantine order, local officials said Thursday.

Neighbors videotaped Jose Antonio Freire Interian and Yohana Anahi Gonzalez flouting the requirement and then handed the telltale tape over to the Key West police, authorities said.

“There were complaints from the neighborhood of them continuing to be outside, going about normal life functions,” Key West City Manager Greg Veliz told The Miami Herald. “An officer took the video to the judge and the judge signed the warrant.”

Interian, 24, and Gonzalez, 27, appear to be among the first people who have been jailed in Florida for breaking quarantine.

“As far as I know, these are the first arrests of this kind in Monroe County,” Brandie Peretz, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County, told NBC News.

Word of their arrest came as Florida on Thursday reported a record 253 new coronavirus deaths, according to the latest NBC News tally of coronavirus cases and fatalities. Nationwide, the death toll from a pandemic that Trump has claimed would “just disappear” rose overnight to 152,717, NBC News figures show.

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The grim new Florida death toll number came on the heels of state health officials reporting 216 deaths on Wednesday and 186 deaths of Tuesday, both of which were new daily highs in a pandemic that has been hitting the state especially hard in recent months.

So far, Florida has logged a total of 456,105 cases and 6,586 deaths, according to state statistics.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, has been harshly criticized for his handling of the coronavirus crisis and stoked more anger earlier this month by referring to the rising case numbers as a “blip.”

Maria Bavaro, right, with her father Antonio Franco.Courtesy Maria Bavaro

And many Florida residents like Maria Bavaro of Lake Worth Beach are very angry. Bavaro told NBC News her 87-year-old father Antonio Franco was in an assisted living center when he died in May of COVID-19.

“I feel like we should’ve never put him there,” Bavaro said of her dad, a hard-working Korean War veteran from Brooklyn who raised three daughters. “I feel like the government failed him. I feel like the state of Florida failed him.”

“I feel like we were robbed of his last few months of life,” she said.

Interian and Gonzalez, who had been ordered to quarantine after testing positive on July 21, were taken into custody Wednesday evening, Adam Linhardt, a spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, told NBC News. They were sent to the Stock Island Detention Center where they were placed in “negative pressure rooms” where the air is not recirculated into other parts of the jail.

“The idea is to keep them apart from the general population and keep them in a place where they can’t infect anybody else,” Linhardt said. “We’ve had people in those rooms before we’ve suspected of having it. If they show symptoms, that’s where people are quarantined.”

Each was hit with misdemeanor charges of violating the state law that requires isolation or quarantine in a public health emergency and violating emergency management.

Conviction on those charges could result in up to 60 days behind bars.

Interian posted bond and was released early Thursday while Gonzalez remains behind bars, Linhardt said.

In other coronavirus-related developments:

  • Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain died at age 74 from complications from COVID-19. Cain had tested positive a week after he attended Trump’s June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While it wasn’t immediately clear where he contracted the deadly virus, Cain had defended the event, writing in an op-ed, “The media worked very hard to scare people out of attending the Trump campaign rally last Saturday night in Tulsa.” Cain was also photographed not wearing a mask at the rally. Several Trump campaign staffers and others also tested positive for COVID-19 after the rally.
  • Jobless claims rose for a second week in a row while the GDP fell by a record 33 percent as the thriving economy Trump inherited from his predecessor continued to be battered by the pandemic. More than 1.43 million people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, according to the Department of Labor. It was the second-straight week that the number has risen, and the 19th week in a row that the U.S. had seen more than a million claims.
  • McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said the fast food chain would sic the cops on any customer who defies their mask-wearing mandate — but only after they first try to reason with the refusenik. “In the event that we do have someone who’s unwilling to wear a mask, we’ve done training around de-escalation,” Kempczinski said on “CBS This Morning.” “Ultimately we’re not going to be asking our crew people to put themselves in harm’s way. If someone is unwilling to wear a mask and comply with our rules, that might be where we might bring in law enforcement.” On Wednesday, the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store union, Stuart Appelbaum, called on store owners to hire security guards and empower managers after a spate of sometimes violent incidents that pitted angry customers against workers trying to get them to wear masks. “It’s not the job of the employees to enforce the store rules on face masks.”
  • The Philadelphia Phillies shut down Citizens Bank Park “until further notice” after a member of the coaching staff and one of the home clubhouse staffers tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced in a statement. Earlier, a member of the visiting clubhouse staff also tested positive. The announcement came in the wake of a three-game series with the Miami Marlins. Seventeen players and two coaches have tested positive since Friday.
  • Citing federal privacy rules, Tennessee state officials announced they would not collect or release to the public information about new coronavirus cases in the schools, The Tennessean reported. Instead, state health department spokeswoman Shelley Walker said they would will encourage individual districts to track COVID-19 cases as the schools reopen in an effort to “best understand the burden of disease in their jurisdiction and take appropriate steps to mitigate further spread of illness.” Critics called foul. “It would seem irresponsible for the state to just look the other way and not track that data,” said Deborah Fisher of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. As of Thursday, there were 100,822 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 1,020 deaths reported in the state.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a mask mandate starting Saturday and running through Sept. 28 as the state has seen a significant rise in new cases. “We need a statewide approach to get Wisconsin back on track,” Evers said. “We know that masks and face coverings will save lives. While I know emotions are high when it comes to wearing face coverings in public, my job as governor is to put people first and to do what’s best for the people of our state, so that’s what I am going to do.” As of Thursday, Wisconsin had 54,988 confirmed cases and 918 deaths.
  • Mississippi set a new record for coronavirus deaths in a day with 48 reported Thursday and a new record for reported cases with 1,775. Arizona also hit a new record for the number of pandemic deaths in a day with 172 reported Thursday. Both states are led by Republican governors who are loyal to Trump and who have been harshly criticized for reopening their states as the number of cases were still climbing.

Image: Joe MurphyJoe Murphy

Joe Murphy is a data editor at NBC News Digital.

Image: Suzanne CiechalskiSuzanne Ciechalski

Suzanne Ciechalski is a New York-based reporter for NBC News’ Social Newsgathering team specializing in verification and social discovery. 

Image: Corky SiemaszkoCorky Siemaszko

Corky Siemaszko is a senior writer for NBC News Digital.

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Florida Overtakes

Florida overtakes New York to become state with the second-highest number of coronavirus cases | TheHill – The Hill

Florida has overtaken New York to become the state with the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Florida has had 414,511 confirmed cases since the pandemic started, while New York, which was once the epicenter of the outbreak, has had 411,200 cases.

Both states trail California, which has had more than 440,000 cases.

New York still has the most deaths of any state by far with more than 32,600. Florida has had nearly 5,800.

The news is particularly stark given how grave the COVID-19 outbreak had been in New York earlier this year, underscoring just how alarming Florida’s current spike in cases has become.

New York put in place stringent health restrictions earlier this year, issuing an early stay-at-home order and closing many businesses. Meanwhile, Florida reopened quickly after initially keeping the number of cases and deaths relatively low compared with other places. 

The Florida Department of Health on Saturday reported more than 12,000 new cases on Friday. The state’s surge in cases has largely been fueled by areas in South Florida, particularly Miami-Dade County.

Of all the people tested for COVID-19 in Florida on Friday, 11.43 percent received positive diagnoses.

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Coronavirus Florida

Florida now has more coronavirus cases than New York and California leads the nation – CNBC

A health-care worker collects samples using a nasal swab at a mobile Covid-19 testing facility, in Miami Beach, Florida, United States on July 24, 2020.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Florida has reported more confirmed coronavirus cases than New York state, as the epicenter of the pandemic has shifted from the Northeast to the Sunbelt region across the American South and West. 

Florida has confirmed at least 414,511 total cases since the pandemic began, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and is seeing record daily coronavirus deaths based on a seven-day moving average, along with other states like Texas and California. Florida recorded at least 12,444 new daily cases on Friday. 

Florida ranks second on the list of U.S. states with the greatest number of cases. California is leading the country with more than 440,325 cases as of Friday. New York, once the epicenter of the outbreak, is now third with at least 411,200 confirmed infections. Texas, now a hotspot as well, has confirmed a total of 380,554 cases. 

At least 5,777 people have died from the virus in Florida while New York has recorded 32,607 fatalities, the most of any state in the nation by far.  

Though the outbreak in Florida has exploded over the past several weeks, the daily case count has started to trend downward recently as a seven-day moving average, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins’ data. The state’s daily new case average was down more than 9% as of Friday.

However, Florida’s death and hospitalization rates have been steadily rising. Florida reported an average of 121 daily deaths as of Friday, about a 21% increase compared with a week ago. The number of people hospitalized due to the virus is up by 14% on average. 

 Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week that the state had “stabilized” the number of cases and cited a the decline in the percent of coronavirus tests that came back positive. Just over 11% of tests came back positive on Friday, down from a recent high of about 15% in late June.  

“We’re definitely trending in a better direction,” DeSantis said. “We’re trending much better today than we were two weeks ago.”

President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida due to health concerns. The president made the announcement on a day when Florida reported a single-day record for coronavirus-related deaths. 

The U.S. reported more than 1,100 coronavirus deaths on Friday, marking the fourth day in a row that the daily death toll was above 1,000, according to Johns Hopkins University data. 

There are more than four million known cases in the U.S, according to Johns Hopkins University, as states in the South and West struggle to contain the virus. As the number of cases, hospitalizations and virus-related deaths in the U.S continue to rise, health experts warn that the actual number of cases is higher than what has been reported so far. 

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Community Florida

Florida community mourns three friends killed in ‘massacre’ on fishing trip – USA TODAY

Suzie Schottelkotte, The (Lakeland, Fla.) Ledger
Published 8:00 a.m. ET July 22, 2020 | Updated 4:18 p.m. ET July 22, 2020


The Polk County Sheriff announced in a press conference that three suspects have been charged in the Frostproof triple homicide investigation.


FROSTPROOF, Fla.— Kris Meyer knelt over the roadside memorial to his friends Tuesday and laid his head on a makeshift cross remembering Brandon Rollins.

“They need to catch whoever did this,” he said after laying fresh flowers at the memorial. “I don’t mean to sound hateful or anything like that, but they need to feel the pain that they did to them — where they beat them to a pulp like that.”

The three best friends, Rollins, Damion Tillman and Keven Springfield, were brutally beaten and shot along Lake Streety Road on Friday night. They had met there for some night fishing.

A can of Sprite sits atop the cross bearing Rollins’ name. Brightly colored beads dangle from the crossbar, and a branch from a pine tree leans against the bottom. Rollins was 27.

What we know: Manhunt underway for killers of three Florida friends on fishing trip

Socks are draped on Springfield’s cross, recalling his disdain for shoes, and someone has left a sprig from a cotton bush. He was 30.

Friends have left a bottle and a can of Mountain Dew on the memorial to Tillman, who was 23 when he died Friday night. His T-shirt is draped over the cross, a hat bearing the Confederate flag sits atop it and a friend has left a McDonald’s bacon double cheeseburger at its base.

Meyer said he’d spent countless hours fishing Lake Streety with his three friends, and he wants to see their killer or killers convicted.

“They were killed right here in the road,” he said. “I just wish I knew something about who did this. I wish I knew why.”

He’s convinced there was more than one assailant that night, and that his friends would have put up a fight, especially Rollins.

“He wouldn’t come looking for a fight, but he wouldn’t back down if someone came at him,” Meyer said, “and the others would have been right there with him.”

Law enforcement is offering a $30,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest of those involved in Friday’s murders. As of Tuesday afternoon, detectives were continuing to pursue leads, said Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Brian Bruchey. At this point, neither robbery, drugs nor domestic issues appear to be the motive, according to the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff: 3 Florida friends on fishing trip killed in ‘massacre’

The three friends had arranged to meet Friday night at a remote boat ramp along Lake Streety for some night fishing, which was a regular pastime for the three, Meyer said.

Dottie Payton, Rollins’ mother, said his dad received a call from him about 10 p.m., saying he needed help. By the time Cyril Rollins got to the lake, his son was near death but able to talk. The younger Rollins died shortly after that.

The murders have galvanized this community of about 3,300 residents, usually a haven from such tragedy.

“This is a quiet town, and we aren’t used to something like this,” said Levi Shirley, who’s lived in Frostproof all of his 37 years.

He said he knows the area where the three friends were brutally murdered, and he wouldn’t go out there now unless he was armed.

“I don’t think this was a random killing,” he said. “Whoever did this was looking for someone.”

Katie Clarke, who’s lived in the Frostproof area since 1975, said her son often goes fishing at night, like Rollins, Springfield and Tillman were doing.

“That bothers me,” she said. “I hope they catch them. If they can get away with that, they will do something more.”

She said the murders haven’t left her fearful, and her trust is in God, but she’s staying home more often these days.

“Between this and the COVID, I’m staying close to home,” she said.

Candy Hutto, who works at P&J Recreation in downtown Frostproof, said she’s worried.

“We’re hearing so many stories that we don’t know what to believe,” she said. “But it’s scary that (Polk County Sheriff) Grady Judd says it’s one of the worst murders he’s ever seen. I don’t like it at night, and I get scared and don’t go outside.”

Like so many others in Frostproof, Don Hodge said he wants answers.

“Everybody in town is talking about it, and giving their opinion” said Hodge, who owns an auto service center in downtown. “I try not to pay no attention to it, but you don’t know. I believe they will catch them, and it had to be somebody who knows them. They were out there fishing. Something like this doesn’t just happen for no reason.”

Follow Suzie Schottelkotte on Twitter @southpolkscene.


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Florida Reports

Florida reports more than 15,000 new coronavirus cases, shattering record – CNBC

Dr. Natalia Echeverri, (R) prepares to use a swab to gather a sample from the nose of Silvia Stagg, who said she is homeless, to test her for COVID-19 on April 17, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Joe Raedle

Florida on Sunday reported 15,299 confirmed coronavirus cases in a single day, breaking the single day record of any U.S. state since the pandemic hit the nation, including New York at the peak of its outbreak. 

The surge in infections brings Florida’s cases to 269,811 since the pandemic began, higher than the totals of several major nations with much larger populations such as Spain, Italy and France among others. 

More than 18,000 people have been hospitalized in Florida since the pandemic hit the state. The Florida Department of Health also reported that 45 more people died from the virus, bringing the statewide death toll to 4,346. 

Nearly 143,000 people were tested Saturday in Florida with 11.25% of the results coming back positive for coronavirus.  That’s Florida’s lowest rate of positive test results since the end of June as more people receive tests. On Wednesday, the percentage of people tested who were positive for the virus was much higher at 18.35%. 

Admiral Brett Giroir, who leads the Trump administration’s testing efforts, said the rate of positive test results has leveled off this week even as it remains high in hotspot states. Giroir said he expects hospitalizations and deaths to increase over the next two to three weeks before also leveling off and then declining. 

“We do expect deaths to go up. If you have more cases, more hospitalizations, we do expect to see that over the next two or three weeks before this turns around,” Giroir told ABC’s “This Week.” 

“We’re not out of this at all, we’re all very concerned,” he said, “but we have seen this week a leveling of what we call the percent positive. That’s our sort of first indicator, if that levels we’re going to see emergency rooms drop, hospitalizations drop.”

Giroir warned, however, that the trajectory of the virus depends on mitigation measures taken by state and local governments. To reverse the current trend, 90% of people in hotspot areas need to wear masks in public, he said. 

Bars should close, restaurants need to reduce capacity and in some cases lockdowns should be on the table, he said. 

As the virus spreads in Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended on-premise alcohol consumption at bars but has rejected calls to issue a statewide mask mandate. Local authorities like the county governments in Miami-Dade and Broward, the state’s two most populous counties, have stepped in and mandated masks in all public spaces. 

Even as Florida continues to report record infections, the state is set to host the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville next month and has required schools to reopen in August for at least five days a week. 

Disney also started a phased reopening of its theme parks in Florida, with leadership boasting of new safety measures and altered operations.

The state’s testing supply is running low and some local officials are concerned that hospitals experiencing an influx of patients will soon reach capacity. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CNN on Sunday that “it won’t be long” until hospitals in his county reach capacity. 

Florida has become a major epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, as most infection surges are located in states in the South and West.

Florida, Arizona, California and Texas, all hotspots for the virus, have seen their average daily death tolls hit record highs in recent days, and health experts warn that deaths will continue to increase in the next several weeks. 

In an interview with CBS on Sunday, Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb predicted that southern states will likely experience a peak in cases in the next two to three weeks, and warned of an “extended plateau” after that, comparing it to the situation in Brazil, one of the hardest hit countries in the world. 

At least 134,000 people in the U.S. have died since the outbreak began in March, and more than 3 million cases have been reported across the country, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has reported more than 60,000 new cases for three days in a row now. 

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Florida insurance

Florida insurance agent fired after mask meltdown at Costco – CBS News

How do we get people to take COVID-19 seriously?

How do we get people to take COVID-19 serious…


A Florida man has been fired from his job as an insurance agent after his videotaped tirade when asked to wear a face mask at a Costco Wholesale store drew a massive audience on social media.

The video posted Monday on Twitter shows a man wearing flip-flops and a red T-shirt emblazoned with “Running the world since 1776” shouting in the store after reportedly being asked why he was not wearing a face covering, as required at all Costco locations. 

Screaming “I feel threatened,” “back off,” and worse, the man lurched in a menacing manner towards an employee who came to the aid of an elderly woman who had asked about his lack of a face covering. 

Florida man at Fort Myers Costco in “Running the World Since 1776” shirt flips out on elderly woman who asked him to wear a mask and man who defended her #BecauseFlorida (via @profjaffar)

— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) July 7, 2020

The incident at a Fort Myers Costco occurred June 26, and involved a man later identified by multiple news outlets as Daniel Maples, an insurance agent for Ted Todd Insurance. 

Billy Corben, a Miami film maker who posted the video, said one of the customers who drew Maples’s wrath credited Costco for escorting Maples out of the store and ensuring he’d left before helping the elderly customer to her car. 

The insurance company soon posted its own tweet, disavowing the behavior shown in the videotape and saying the “former employee” had been fired.

Thank you to everyone for their comments and messages raising awareness about a former employee at Ted Todd Insurance. Their behavior in the video is in direct conflict with our company values and their employment has been terminated.

— Ted Todd Insurance (@TedToddAgency) July 7, 2020

In a separate post, Charley Todd, CEO of the insurance company, wrote that “threatening behavior and intimidation go against our core mission to be trusted advisors in our community. We are also committed to immediately reviewing our internal existing culture.” 

Costco in early May mandated all its employees and member customers wear facial coverings. 

“We know some [Costco] members may find this inconvenient or objectionable, but under the circumstances we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience. This is not simply a matter of personal choice; a face covering protects not just the wearer, but others, too,” Costco President and CEO Craig Jelinek said in a statement to warehouse members at that time. 

Costco on Wednesday declined comment on the incident, one in a series of public standoffs over wearing masks as the U.S. contends with a pandemic that has killed more than 131,000 Americans, including more than 3,800 people in Florida, according to the latest data from John Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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Coronavirus Florida

Florida Reports More Than 10,000 New Coronavirus Cases — Another Record : Coronavirus Live Updates – NPR

A public safety officer directs drivers where to go last week at a coronavirus testing site at the Lee Davis Community Resource Center in Tampa, Fla.

Octavio Jones/Getty Images

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A public safety officer directs drivers where to go last week at a coronavirus testing site at the Lee Davis Community Resource Center in Tampa, Fla.

Octavio Jones/Getty Images

Updated at 7:43 p.m. ET

Florida’s surge of COVID-19 cases shows no signs of slowing down. The state Department of Heath reported Florida set another daily record Thursday, with 10,109 cases, surpassing Saturday’s record of 9,585 cases. That brings Florida’s total confirmed coronavirus cases to nearly 170,000 and a death toll of 3,617 (with 67 new deaths reported Thursday).

The new record continues a marked upturn in cases that began last month, weeks after Florida started allowing businesses to reopen. Gov. Ron DeSantis has defended that decision, saying that for most of April and May, the number of new cases and the percentage of those testing positive for the virus remained low. But then, DeSantis said, he believes Floridians became complacent. “After Memorial Day, when it fell out of the news,” he said, “people kind of just thought, it was over.”

Florida Smashes Coronavirus Case Record: Nearly 9,srcsrcsrc Positive Cases On Thursday

On Thursday, he met with Vice President Pence and other federal officials in Tampa. Speaking afterward, Pence thanked DeSantis for his leadership in combating the coronavirus and in reopening Florida’s economy. “It’s not an either-or choice,” Pence said. “The economic comeback that’s underway is a demonstration that we don’t have to choose between opening America and the health of our people. We can do both.”

DeSantis has resisted calls for a statewide order requiring face coverings for people in public places. As the numbers of COVID-19 cases have risen, many counties and cities have adopted rules making face coverings mandatory.

One of the most recent to do so is Jacksonville, which is set to host President Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in August.

Asked whether it will be safe for people over 65 or with underlying health conditions to attend the convention, Pence didn’t answer directly. “We’re excited about coming to Jacksonville,” he said. “I was at a meeting not long ago when I heard about very sophisticated plans to make sure it’s a safe and healthy environment.”

In Tampa, DeSantis was asked if he had any “personal responsibility” for the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Florida, while other states such as New York and New Jersey were seeing cases decline. “Well, do you give credit for Florida for having a much lower fatalities per 100,000 than all the states you just praised?” DeSantis shot back. “We have fewer fatalities than some of these states have just in nursing homes.”

At DeSantis’ direction, Florida has rolled back part of its reopening, closing all bars in the state last week to all but takeout business. Florida took that action as an increasing number of young people became infected with the virus and several bars closed voluntarily. To avoid encouraging large crowds, local governments in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have ordered beaches closed through the July Fourth weekend.

And on Thursday night, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez announced a countywide daily curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice. He also rolled back the opening of entertainment facilities such as movie theaters, arcades, casinos, adult entertainment, concert houses and bowling alleys, effective Friday.

“This curfew is meant to stop people from venturing out and hanging out with friends in groups, which has shown to be spreading the virus rapidly,” he said.

Florida Officials Spar Over Rising COVID-19 Cases

DeSantis said he believes these measures are reminding residents they need to be careful. “Now, people understand, this thing doesn’t just go away,” he said. “You can do a lot of things if you take some small precautions.”

The rising numbers of coronavirus cases have raised questions about DeSantis’ leadership and his close ties to Trump, whom he consulted before allowing businesses to begin reopening.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, who represents parts of Miami, said, “In their rush to reopen, they’ve put politics ahead of public health.”

Shalala said DeSantis made a mistake by not acting sooner to shut the state down. “We needed at the beginning to hit this virus with a hammer, to starve it all the way down,” she said. “We didn’t do the right thing in the beginning, and now we’re trying to play catch-up.”

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Florida coronavirus cases reach record levels with 1,400 more cases than previous high – Fox News

Florida saw a record number of coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the state Department of Health reported.

According to the agency, there were 5,508 new coronavirus cases as of midnight on Tuesday and 44 more deaths related to COVID-19.

Overall, Florida has a total of 109,014 cases and 3,281 coronavirus-related deaths, the agency reported.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Florida had reached a record level of new cases with Tuesday’s numbers — 1,400 more than the previous record.


However, the deadliest day for coronavirus cases in Florida was May 4, when 59 deaths were reported, according to the newspaper.

Guests wearing masks stroll through SeaWorld as it reopened with new safety measures in place Thursday, June 11, 2src2src, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Guests wearing masks stroll through SeaWorld as it reopened with new safety measures in place Thursday, June 11, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

The 44 deaths did not happen all on Tuesday, it was just when they were reported, according to the Sentinel.

The newspaper reported that it takes as long as two weeks to get confirmations of coronavirus-related deaths in Florida.


Since the start of the pandemic, Florida has performed 1.6 million tests and had 13,574 hospitalizations as of Wednesday, according to the Sentinel.


This week, the state has the ninth most fatalities in the U.S., but ranks lower on the death rate, the newspaper reported.

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