Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

By Peter Holley

For more than two decades, Terry Jude Symansky appeared to lead an ordinary life in Pasco County, Fla.

He had a wife and a teenage son, owned property, and “worked odd jobs,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The only problem, police say, was that Terry Jude Symansky was not really Terry Jude Symansky. He was actually an Indiana man named Richard Hoagland who vanished 25 years ago and has been considered dead since 2003, the paper reported.

The lie lasted more than two decades. In the end, a single online search was all it took for the ruse to unravel.

The truth began to surface when a nephew of the real Terry Symansky — who drowned in 1991 at age 33 — started an Ancestry.com family search, according to ABC affiliate WFLA. Knowing that his uncle was dead, the nephew was surprised to find someone with the same name living in central Florida.

“He looks up his real uncle Terry Symansky and realizes that he died in 1991, which the family knew,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told the station. “He then starts scrolling down the page and sees more details that Terry Symanksy was remarried in 1995. He owns property in Pasco County, Florida.”

Fearing that their fake relative might try to harm them, family members waited three years before eventually contacting authorities in April, police told the Tampa Bay Times.

Hoagland, 63, was arrested Wednesday and charged with fraudulent use of personal identification, the paper reported.

How exactly Hoagland came to assume the identity of Terry Symansky — who moved to Florida from Cleveland to work as a commercial fisherman — remains a complicated mystery.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that investigators suspect it occurred as follows:

Deputies think Hoagland stole Terry Symansky’s identity like this: Hoagland once lived with Terry Symansky’s father in Palm Beach. Hoagland found a copy of Terry Symansky’s 1991 death certificate and used it to obtain a birth certificate from Ohio. With the birth certificate in hand, he then applied by mail for an Alabama driver’s license and used that to obtain a Florida driver’s license. That’s how deputies think Hoagland came to spend more than two decades living in Florida as Terry Symansky.

As Terry Symansky, he married Mary Hossler Hickman in 1995. The couple lived in Zephyrhills. He also fashioned a medical card to obtain a private pilot’s license as Terry Symansky from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Before he began the process of assuming a new identity, Hoagland left his old life — which included a wife and four children — behind in Indiana, according to Bay News 9. His former wife in Indiana told police that Hoagland had three businesses related to insurance.

She told investigators that Hoagland told her in the early 1990s that he was wanted by the FBI for embezzling millions of dollars and had no choice but to leave town, according to the Tampa Bay Times. In reality, police told the paper, Hoagland told investigators that he left Indiana to get away from his wife.

Eventually, the paper reported, Hoagland’s wife assumed her husband was dead.

“This is a selfish coward,” Nocco said. “This is a person who has lived his life destroying others.”

Gerry Beyer, a law professor at Texas Tech University who studies identity theft, told the Tampa Bay Times that Hoagland’s alleged actions are unusual because most identity thieves steal people’s names to commit crimes.

He told the paper that the fact that the real Symansky never married or had children made him a “perfect” candidate for identity theft.

Yet, he noted, Hoagland’s ability to maintain the lie for more than two decades was shocking. It was a lie that was probably made easier, Beyer said, because it began before digital records were commonplace.

“You just never know,” Beyer told the paper. “It will all catch up with you.”

Hoagland’s Florida tenants told Bay News 9 that they were shocked that their landlord was not who he said he was.

“We’ve been personal with him quite a bit, and Terry’s the nicest guy anyone could ever meet,” Gregory Yates told the station.

“He’s a really nice guy, and he’s a really good landlord,” Dean Lockwood, another tenant, said. “Never would have known this, couldn’t imagine this was happening.”

Perhaps most damaged by Hoagland’s hoax, police said, was his wife in Florida, who learned about her husband’s alleged crimes only when detectives showed up at her door last week.

“For 20 years, she’s been lied to, so now she doesn’t know what she has to do as far as whether her marriage is even legal — what’s going to happen to all the properties they own, their bank accounts,” Detective Anthony Cardillo told Bay News 9. “The son has the last name Symansky.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/07/24/he-left-his-family-then-he-started-a-new-one-using-a-dead-mans-identity-police-say/?tid=pm_national_pop_b


Investigators have identified the remains of a suspected burglar who was killed by an alligator. Police say it appears 22-year-old Matthew Riggins was hiding from law enforcement when the incident occurred.

Brevard County deputies have determined that Matthew Riggins, 22, was killed by an alligator in Barefoot Bay lake on Nov. 23 while possibly hiding to avoid law enforcement.

Investigators say that Riggins had told his girlfriend he would be in Barefoot Bay to commit burglaries with another suspect who is now in custody but not cooperating with officials, according to Maj. Tod Goodyear with BCSO.

Deputies responded to calls in Barefoot Bay on Nov. 13 that there were two men dressed in black walking behind area houses, who ran from responding officers. Later that day, Riggins was reported missing to the Palm Bay Police Department.

Police searching the area reported hearing “yelling” but could not determine the source that night, Goodyear said. Ten days later, Riggins’ body was found in the lake.

Sheriff’s dive team members encountered an 11-foot alligator behaving aggressively while recovering the body, according to BCSO.

“When the body was found, it had injuries that were consistent with an alligator attack,” Goodyear said. “We had trappers euthanize the gator and when we opened it up, there were some remains inside that were consistent with injuries found on the body.”

Riggins died from drowning and bites were discovered along his legs and body that led investigators to determine he had been dragged underwater by the massive animal.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/12/08/alligator-kills-florida-burglary-suspect-hiding-cops/76966512/

A 10-year-old mutt named Quasi Modo, whose spinal birth defects left her a bit hunchbacked, is the winner of this year’s World’s Ugliest Dog contest.

The pit bull-Dutch shepherd mix and her owner took the $1,500 prize Friday night, besting 25 other dogs competing in the contest that applauds imperfection, organizers said.

And though the name might make you think of the Quasimodo character in the Victor Hugo tale “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” this dog is female, not male as some thought.

Karen Spencer, marketing director for the Sonoma-Marin Fair, said she was notified Friday night by Quasi Modo’s owner that the world’s newly crowned ugliest dog is a she, and not a he.

Quasi Modo was abandoned at an animal shelter before being adopted by a veterinarian in Loxahatchee, Florida, according to her biography posted on the contest’s website.

Two Chinese crested and Chihuahua mixes named Sweepee Rambo and Frodo took the second- and third-place prizes, respectively.

An 8-year-old Chihuahua named Precious received the “spirit award,” honoring a dog and owner who have overcome obstacles and/or are providing service to the community. Precious, who is blind in one eye, is trained to monitor smells related to low blood sugar levels and alert her owner, a disabled veteran, of the problem, her biography said.

The contest, held at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma, is in its 27th year.

The dogs are scored by a three-judge panel in several categories, including special or unusual attributes, personality and natural ugliness.

http://bigstory.ap.org/urn:publicid:ap.org:0f37773b882c4941ae96d9d4287b69e3

17-year-old boy has undergone the world’s first penis reduction surgery, surgeons claim.

The American teen requested the surgery after his penis grew too large, restricting his ability to have sex or play competitive sports.

The boy’s surgeons were shocked when he came to them complaining that his penis was too big.

When flaccid, it measured almost seven inches in length and had a circumference of 10 inches – around the size of a grapefruit.

Surgeons described it as being shaped like an American football.

The surgeon who treated the teenager, Rafael Carrion, a urologist at the University of South Florida, said ‘There comes a time in every urologist’s career that a patient makes a request so rare and impossible to comprehend that all training breaks down and leaves the physician speechless.

‘That question was “can you make my penis smaller”?’

The teenager had suffered from several bouts of priapism – an unwanted erection, due to having a condition in which abnormally-shaped blood cells block vessels in the penis, causing it to swell.

These episodes had left his penis bloated and misshapen.

He said he was unable to have sex or play competitive sport, had difficulty wearing his pants due to his ‘large and heavy phallus’, and was embarrassed by how visible it appeared underneath regular clothing.

Though his penis was so large, it did not grow when he had erections – it merely became firmer.

‘His penis had inflated like a balloon,’ said Dr Carrion.

‘It sounds like a man’s dream – a tremendously inflated phallus – but unfortunately although it was a generous length, it’s girth was just massive, especially around the middle.

‘It looked like an American football.’

Dr Carrion and his team looked at the medical literature but couldn’t find any precedent for what to do.

‘Lord knows there’s a global race on how to make it longer and thicker in plastic surgery circles, but very little on how to make it smaller,’ he said.

In the end, they decided to embark on a surgical technique normally used to treat Peyronie’s disease, a condition where scar tissue develops along the penis, causing it to bend.

The surgeons sliced along an old circumcision scar, unwrapped the skin of the penis, and cut out two segments of tissue from either side.

‘It was a bit like having two side tummy-tucks – that’s how we explained it to him,’ said Dr Carrion.

The doctors were able to bypass the urethra – the tube which carries urine through the penis – and all of the nerves that provide sensation.

The teenager spent just two days in hospital before returning home, apparently ‘ecstatic’ with his new penis.

The doctors did not take final measurements of the penis, although Dr Carrion stated the result was ‘generous’.

It’s slightly longer and slightly thicker than the average male, but now it looks symmetrical, and the patient was very satisfied,’ he said.

The teen now has no problem having normal erections and has full sensation.

‘It looks cosmetically appealing, and he said it was a life-changing event, he’s all smiles,’ said Carrion.

Since the paper describing the surgery was published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Dr Carrion has only had one person approach him to request the same surgery.

He said: ‘This [second] man seems to have a naturally large penis, because there’s nothing unusual in his medical history, so it doesn’t seem like there’s any real abnormality in this case’.

Whereas the first teenager had an obvious medical condition that needed treating, performing surgery on someone who is completely healthy but having difficulties with the size of his penis is another matter, said Dr Carrion.

‘These are controversial waters we’re stepping in,’ he added. ‘Who is to judge what is a legitimate complaint and what isn’t?

‘You don’t normally have men complaining about this kind of thing. These are very unique cases.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2950409/World-s-penis-REDUCTION-surgery-Teenager-requested-op-genitals-grew-large-stopped-having-sex.html#ixzz3RdedoFoy