Bradford Weitzel wasn’t having a good day. According to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Man from Port St. Lucie was leaving a bar in the early hours of the morning when he realized his car was gone. Or perhaps, he just couldn’t remember where he had parked it. Either way, he came up with a quick solution to his dilemma — he “borrowed” someone else’s car. As far as Weitzel was concerned, per what he told police, it was “in a good faith effort to locate his own.”
What happened next is still a mystery to Weitzel, who somehow wound up on the train tracks that run across Martin County. To make matters worse, there was an oncoming train barreling toward him. Rather than play chicken with a freight train, Weitzel opened the car door and ran for it. “Within seconds, the train hit the car, catapulting it into a nearby home where the homeowners were sound asleep,” according to the police.
Thankfully, no one inside the home was injured by the haphazard flying car, but the cops noted that “the explosive sound of a driverless car smashing into the side of their home was clearly jolting.”
For his part, Weitzel found himself right back where he started — in need of wheels. Luck seemed to be in his favor when he spotted a nearby fruit stand and a forklift, which police say he attempted to steal. But alas, no dice. Out of options, he flagged down the deputies who were responding to reports of a car being catapulting into a house “to let them know he was still looking for his car.”
They promptly arrested Weitzel, and he was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle and criminal mischief. Further charges may be applied after the officers compile the details of his night. Or as the sheriff’s office put it: “Additional charges are expected.” They also appropriately billed the crime as: “TRAIN vs VEHICLE vs HOUSE.”
All of which leaves Weitzel among the ranks of other recent epic tales of Florida Men v. Vehicles. Last year, for example, Florida Man Trey Cornwell was arrested for stealing an ambulance from a hospital in the middle of the day. He reportedly attempted to joy ride the ambulance and then park it in a lake, but he only made it as far as the muddy banks, which is where the ambulance got stuck. Or there was the Florida Man who stole a tank and took it for a spin around the neighborhood (as one casually does).
Most impressively, though, Florida Man Xavier Javern Cummings allegedly stole none other than a cop car. According to reports, the local sheriff’s office pursued Cummings until one officer was able to execute a maneuver that forced the stolen police sedan from the freeway and into the surrounding woods. Cummings, however, wasn’t done. He took the opportunity to steal another cop car — this time an SUV. The police continued their pursuit, mindful that Cummings was now rolling around with police firearms. The officers executed a second high-speed maneuver, forcing Cummings to careen into the median strip, where the police SUV got stuck in the mud. He was subsequently apprehended.
Is there an amateur car-heist competition in Florida the rest of us know nothing about? Or perhaps more accurately, the Florida Man answers to calls the rest of us can’t hear. Whatever the case may be, one thing’s for certain: The Sunshine State’s great vehicle crime tradition rolls on, one lead-footed Florida Man at a time.