SEPT. 27, 9:20 A.M.: A 13-year-old boy was walking along a sidewalk en route to school in the 1600 block of Willie Mays Parkway. All was peachy until a passing ne'er-do-well, 16, strolled by and demanded that the youngster hand over his tennis shoes. When the young 'un refused, the suspect sent him soaring into some nearby bushes, topping him off with a mighty punch to his right peeper.
At this point, many 13-year-olds would've probably wept for mommy from the brambly bushes but not this young man. In retaliation, he punched the ruffian in the stomach, and delivered a taboo-yet-surefire kick to the groin as a grand finale. Because the delinquent was now down, our lad fled to class "in fear that he was going to be robbed for his shoes," police reports state.
Apparently, the new-age bully prefers funky sneakers to lunch money. Who would've guessed?
SEPT. 25, 11:46 A.M.: Unfortunately, grown-up bullies aren't as easily satisfied by a pair of tennies.
On this morning, a 25-year-old man (he wasn't wearing socks, according to a witness) scaled an office building in the 1200 block of West Central Boulevard. Once atop the roof, he pried open a skylight and its metal-mesh barrier, hopping inside and crashing to the floor like jolly old Saint Nick. Instead of heisting a platter stacked with milk and cookies, however, the burglar removed someone's equally appetizing $129 check stashed inside a desk drawer. He then exited through the front door, nonchalantly inching his way toward North Orange Blossom Trail.
SEPT. 23, 10:30 A.M.: Goodies were successfully grabbed from a school in the 5700 block of Major Boulevard this sunlit morning. In the midst of bustling teachers and eager-beaver students scurrying to class, some snoopy burglar or burglars remained camouflaged within the crowd. The suspect or suspects slipped inside a certain classroom and started eyeing its valued contents. New computer system? Not today. Bundle of dry-erase markers? Of course not. Instead, our suspect(s) looked to the sky for answers, where a spanking-new Epson PowerLite projector valued at $3,500 screamed "Boost me!" After removing the apparatus, the burglar(s) fled, perhaps with plans to enjoy a few flicks at the homestead with their cool new tool. Be on the lookout for suspicious PowerPoint presentations.
SEPT. 22, 11 A.M.: Some bullies are just too cruel.
An 81-year-old man was wrapping up his routine shopping at Wal-Mart in the 2400 block of Veteran's Memorial Parkway in Orange City when two men approached him. The scummy duo most obviously not Boy Scouts warned the elderly fellow that he'd left his car's headlights on in the parking lot. Being the sweet senior that he was, he appreciatively followed the pair outdoors, leaving his bagged groceries inside. Outside, they predictably shoved the old-timer into a white van, slammed its doors shut and sped off.
The youngest scumbag, 30, pretended to hold a gun under his shirt it could have been a Baby Ruth bar, for all we know and ordered the man to give them $25,000 in cash, pronto. Our tenderhearted elder complied with the outrageous order and told the team to drop him off at his bank. After an approximately 30-minute road trip surprisingly free of cardiac arrest, they'd arrived. Inside the bank, one of the accompanying lowlifes cordially told the cashier his senior compadre needed $26,000 in cash. They needed greenbacks instead of a check, he said, because "they had family in New Orleans and had to give them cash," police reports state. How sweet.
Money in hand, the seedy duo hopped back onboard the getaway van, and later dropped the elderly gentleman off at a Publix parking lot, far, far away from his own car and groceries. Whatever happened to respecting your elders?
SEPT. 20, 6 P.M.: Although pricey goods were still stolen in this incident, the suspect or suspects at least had the decency to leave the grandpas out of it.
At some point during the night, the suspect(s) neared a condominium complex's fitness room in the 700 block of East Michigan Street. No, our burglar or burglars weren't seeking a free 20-minute session on the rowing machine. They wanted some electronic gear within. An "unknown prying tool," police reports state, was used to open a door. Perhaps parched after all that prying, the burglar or burglars broke into a Coca-Cola vending machine, taking some 16-ounce bottles of Coke and leaving $3,000 worth of damage. Next, the burglar(s) removed two Magnavox 20-inch TVs, valued at $500 total, two computers and two printers, together valued at $1,950.
Having documented several Orlando fitness room burglaries, this author concludes the following: No one ever wants the exercise equipment. Sofa spuds.