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ONLY IN FLORIDA: 'Breaking Bad' Contest Winner Charged With Running Synthetic Pot Ring

Torkild Retvedt
Wikimedia Commons

From Breaking Bad to breaking bananas on your girlfriend's face, it's a strong start to 2014 in this week's edition of ONLY IN FLORIDA.

ONLY IN FLORIDA is our weekly roundup of the strange, bizarre and just plain ridiculous headlines from right here in the Sunshine State.

ONLY IN FLORIDA do men assault their live-in girlfriends with a banana.

Police in New Port Richey arrested Joseph Smolinsky, 36, after responding to a disturbance call during which his girlfriend said he threw a banana at her.

Her face was slightly red from where she was struck.

Smolinsky had to be subdued with pepper spray. He faces charges of domestic battery. (First Coast News)

ONLY IN FLORIDA do people impersonating police officers pull over REAL cops.

Police say 24-year-old Jonathan Stevens was arrested in Tampa over the weekend after flagging down a police officer. He had flashing red and blue lights on his SUV, and had a gun and a badge around his neck.

Stevens' car was not from a government agency, and he was not a government employee. Police say he admitted to making the whole thing up, and it's not the first time.

In September, the Manatee Sheriff's Office says he pulled over a driver in the parking lot of the Ellenton Outlets. He also faces charges related to that incident. (The Tampa Tribune)

ONLY IN FLORIDA do Breaking Bad fans find out life really does imitate art.

A Breaking Bad fan who won a contest to watch the series finale with the cast last year was arrested on drug charges in Florida early Wednesday morning.

Ryan Lee Carroll, who previously described the hit show to Naples News as, "highly addicting, just like the meth they make," was booked into a Lee County jail on two felony charges and one misdemeanor.

Those charges are possession of a synthetic narcotic, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and keeping a shop or vehicle for dangerous drugs. Carroll allegedly ran a ring producing and distributing synthetic marijuana.

In September, the 28-year-old won a contest to fly out to Los Angeles where he'd be greeted by Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, who played meth cook (and recovering user) Jesse Pinkman, at the airport.

Among the items confiscated by police was a bright yellow hazmat suit signed by cast members. (KSDK, Naples News)

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You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax Patrick Donges on Twitter at @patrickhdonges.

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.
Patrick Donges served as WJCT's Digital Content Editor from August 2013 - August 2014.