back to article Mayors having a right 'mare in Florida: Acting mayor arrested weeks after boss also arrested

Democracy, eh? It's all fun and games until your elected mayor allegedly opens fire on the SWAT team come to arrest him, which is precisely what cops accused him of doing in the Floridian city of Port Richey last month. And now the acting mayor has been cuffed too. The Tampa Bay Times reports that 64-year-old Terrence Rowe was …

  1. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Could be worse

    Could have been plotting to become a big snake...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Could be worse

      Buffy reference? :-)

    2. Graham Dawson

      Re: Could be worse

      Saved Arnie the trip, I suppose.

  2. MCMLXV

    "In politics stupidity is not a handicap."

    Brexit...

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: "In politics stupidity is not a handicap."

      Why stop at Brexit. Every country has it's Stupid Politician Games going on. You Brits certainly have them but then we here in the States are right up there with you. Race to the bottom and all that.

      1. Ilsa Loving

        Re: "In politics stupidity is not a handicap."

        It doesn't really qualify as "hold my beer" anymore when you're just passing it back and forth between each other.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "In politics stupidity is not a handicap."

      Seems stupidity is a positive asset when it comes to posting Brexit comments in unrelated articles.

  3. chivo243 Silver badge
    Gimp

    unlawful use of a two-way communication device

    Was he swearing into it? Abusing it in some way? or did he already have it "stored" for his eventual trip up the river?

    1. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: unlawful use of a two-way communication device

      From what I understand of the situation, he was using a police-band radio to interfere with the police responses.

    2. Mayday Silver badge

      Re: unlawful use of a two-way communication device

      Any use of a licensed radio device (ie police, military and in some cases aviation) without a licence is not legal.

    3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: unlawful use of a two-way communication device

      "Now, three weeks later, Massad has been re-arrested and charged with obstruction of justice. And the acting mayor, Terrence Rowe, 64, has also been charged as the two were heard plotting about either discrediting or retaliating against a police officer Massad said was involved in the arrest. They were heard discussing it on a recorded jailhouse telephone line." source

      Apparently when Florida Men work together, the stupidity becomes additive. Or maybe it starts some kind of feedback loop.

  4. ukgnome Silver badge

    Nothing to see here

    I mean who hasn't got a bit carried away with things.

  5. WolfFan Silver badge

    If Florida Man did not exist

    We would have to invent it.

    I love Florida and Florida Man. https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/florida-man

    I still say that the guy who threw the baby alligator into the window of a Wendy's drive-thru was an even better Florida Man than this guy. https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-alligator-wendys-criminal-case-plea-20160531-story.html

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: If Florida Man did not exist

      The Twitter feed is priceless!

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: If Florida Man did not exist

        Forget the men, just look at the mice they have around there...

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: If Florida Man did not exist

      Damn. I just posted almost the same thing.

      Yeah, Florida Man.

  6. Fred Goldstein

    We *are* talking Florida here. Look, most of the people I run into have an "above-average" intelligence. Somebody has to be below average. That's what Florida is for. They have two fetishes. One is being stupid, or at least electing stupid people. The other is guns. It's a deadly combination, but the NRA and its sponsor gun makers make out like bandits there. As do the bandits. At least the old mayor had apparently once been a doctor, just a bad one. And this being America, without an NHS, a lot of people depend on whatever medical help they can find, and can't afford a real doctor. He was probably better at it than the faith healers that are so popular in the American south.

    Vermont, on the other hand, is not stupid, just snowy. Like other New England states, its Towns do not have mayors, as the executive is handled by the Select Board and the legislative by Town Meeting (everyone who shows up votes). And they do make good cheese. So there's nothing a mayor does there that a goat can't do. And come spring, the goat can help keep the lawns and weeds in check.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      And come spring, the goat can help keep the lawns and weeds in check

      And later still, form a very, very close association with curry..

      (Curried goat is just about palatable. Uncurried goat tastes far, far too much like lamb for my liking)

  7. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    And we thought Boris as Mayor was a bad thing.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      These guys don't seem to have wasted £60 million on a bridge to nowhere, haven't recently insulted a foreign president with whom we might have wanted a trade agreement, didn't stir up mentally unsound people with right wing anti-immigrant propaganda and probably don't take a quarter of a million a year from tax avoiding newspaper owners while promoting policies that just happen to suit them, so they really are not in Johnson's league.

    2. Anonymous Coward
  8. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Florida man

    That is all

  9. Mr Dogshit

    This really gets my goat.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Stop bleating around the bush.

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Oh, that was Baaaad.

        1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          But, but, but...

          1. The Nazz Silver badge

            Seriously, no kidding?

            1. TRT Silver badge

              The Nanny State

  10. Symon Silver badge
    WTF?

    Made up crimes.

    "use of a two-way communication device to facilitate the commission of a crime"

    I recommend this book, "You have the right to remain innocent".

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1503933393

    Browse to page 15 to see what you're up against if Plod try to get you in that America.

  11. Nolveys Silver badge
    Windows

    Even former Toronto mayor Rob Ford (who only smoked crack during his drunken stupors) drew the line at shooting at swat teams.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Bah... Bloody amateurs.

  12. Cheese_Conquistador

    They elected a goat? You must be kidding?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re-read the article. The goat was an "honorary" mayer for some sort of fund raising stunt.

      1. Tomato Krill

        Whoosh...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      People were stupid enough to vote for Trump....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        In that context, voting for the goat would have been the better option. Alas..

    3. James O'Shea Silver badge

      It's not a stretch. Caligula wanted to make his fav horse (Incitatus) a consul, on the grounds that this would improve both the intelligence and the overall sense of humo(u)r of the Senate. The Senate was Not Amused®, so he didn't quite dare. Their reaction did make his point for him, though. (yes, it was possible to troll before there was an Internet. Several Emperors, Kings, Popes and other prominent persons were quite good at it.)

      1. Nolveys Silver badge
        Trollface

        Caligula wanted to make his fav horse (Incitatus) a consul...

        I don't believe that was mentioned in the critically acclaimed documentary staring Malcolm McDowell.

  13. David Lewis 2
    WTF?

    "He socialized with people of dubious repute,"

    Well he is a politician! It goes with the territory.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: "He socialized with people of dubious repute,"

      I am neither a Christian nor a defender of the inhabitants of Florida, but that was one of the charges levelled against Jesus. He consorted with republicans and sinners.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: "He socialized with people of dubious repute,"

        Did he also "like to party"?

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: "He socialized with people of dubious repute,"

          It seems knowledge of the NT is sadly lacking these days that you even have to ask the question. He is on record as having produced extra supplies when the wine at a party ran out.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: "He socialized with people of dubious repute,"

            Yeah, but bread and fish... I mean, come on... what kind of a party was that? Dorritos and Taramasalata surely? Or maybe he just sent into the future for a hundredweight of sesame prawn toasts?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "He socialized with people of dubious repute,"

            > It seems knowledge of the NT is sadly lacking these days...

            It's not "sadly lacking". It's called society starting to grow up and stop believing in imaginary things.

            Well, apart from the some parts of the US obviously.

          3. TRT Silver badge

            Re: "It seems knowledge of the NT is sadly lacking these days..."

            Well, it might not be called that any more, but it's still current and an ongoing concern. Many people live by the code even if they don't realise it. The sign of the cross, although reworked many, many times throughout history, is still easily recognisable in our everyday lives. As it says in the good book... “If you can't make it good, at least make it look good.” NT 17763.379

        2. James O'Shea Silver badge

          Re: "He socialized with people of dubious repute,"

          He was notoriously fond of wine and, ahem, 'loose women'. One of the things which really offended the then Pope was when the movie "Jesus Christ, Superstar" portrayed Mary Magdalene as m'man Yeshua's girlfriend. It didn't help that the actress was Asian.

          Exits, to "I Don't Know How To Love Him".

  14. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    "He enjoyed intoxicants. He owned guns. He socialized with people of dubious repute."

    And we are supposed to think worse of him? Reading "had the use of" in place of "owned", this describes quite a large portion of the military and police forces of most countries I could name. I don't in general think worse of them, provided always that there is a suitable interval between intoxicant and gun use.

  15. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    "He socialized with people of dubious repute"

    Hey El Reg, can this be the new euphemism for talking about politicians? It seems highly appropriate...

  16. A. Coatsworth
    Mushroom

    Coming soon to a screen near YOU!

    <film trailer VO>

    "He enjoyed intoxicants.

    He owned guns.

    He socialized with people of dubious repute,

    ... He is... FloridaMan!"

    </film trailer VO>

  17. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    It's just Florida - this is not news

    This is just normal everyday stuff - when I lived just down the road from Port Richey back in the 90's I remember reading in the paper about an incident at the local emergency room on Christmas Day, some poor lady had thought her pet parrot was having trouble breathing so she had tried to give in artificial respiration but it had chewed half her face off ...

    If you like this kind of thing then read Carl Hiaasen's novels ... at least 80% of the incidents in his "fiction" stories happened in real life.

  18. wayne 8

    IT angle?

    IT angle?

    Ah after hours at the pub now.

  19. wayne 8

    Florida Mayor

    Another version of a Florida Man story.

    What's up with that town? Something in the water?

  20. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    I like the sub-head

    From it, I gather that the goat didn't shoot anyone... (if we are, in fact, thinking of the same panda story)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like the sub-head

      Eats shits and leaves.

      1. Dvon of Edzore
        Holmes

        Re: I like the sub-head

        Presuming the goat is healthy, the cleanup should be about as difficult as a spilled bag of baking chocolate chips. A cow, on the udder hand...

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: I like the sub-head

          If you go round cleaning up after cows, you deserve a pat on the head.

  21. John Savard Silver badge

    What, no impeachment?

    I'm quite surprised the police could just go in and arrest a city's mayor. Surely they would have to wait for the aldermen to impeach him first? Maybe this time, the mayor really was involved in criminal activity, but next time, the police could just arrest a mayor on false charges because they didn't like his politics. The police have to be kept strictly subordinate to the elected representatives of the people.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: What, no impeachment?

      Not really, no. In most countries, and I'm assuming in the US too, only the head of state has any level of immunity. (and maybe close friends where the head of state can either influence the judicial process or just have the relevant people shot to make it go away.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: What, no impeachment?

      AFAIK a mayor doesn't have any sort of immunity from getting arrested or prosecuted. Is there even anything preventing the arrest of the POTUS in the theoretical case he actually provably murdered someone? Sure, you'd have to impeach him before he stops being the POTUS, but is there anything preventing his arrest? I'd have a hard time everyone would sit on their hands and let him climb aboard air force 1 giving everyone the finger and fly off to someplace else.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: What, no impeachment?

        Is there even anything preventing the arrest of the POTUS in the theoretical case he actually provably murdered someone? Sure, you'd have to impeach him before he stops being the POTUS, but is there anything preventing his arrest?

        Unsettled legal question, I believe. There has been some debate on whether POTUS can pardon him- or herself. You might think that a pardon would only apply after conviction (and thus after impeachment by the House and trial by the Senate), but presidents have issued pre-conviction and other sweeping pardons in the past, and thus far no one's tried to challenge them in the Supreme Court.

        Arrest does not require conviction, but there's little point in trying to arrest a president who's been proactively pardoned for any applicable offense. Unless you want to roll the dice on SCOTUS overturning the pardon.

        Combine that with the fact that the president controls the armed forces and is protected by the Secret Service, and that the vice president (who would promptly move into the Oval Office) is likely to side with the president, and my guess is that law enforcement officers would be reluctant to try it.

        A POTUS who openly committed a serious crime and tried to remain in office could well precipitate a constitutional crisis. That scenario is not inconceivable, particularly at the present historical moment.

        The US is still a relatively young country and there are more than a few corners of the law which have not been adequately explored.

  22. ecofeco Silver badge

    America has a phrase for this

    "Florida Man"

  23. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Missed one

    The mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, was recently removed from office and reinstated in the same election.

    See the link for other amusing anecdotes about recent mayors of Fall River.

    Fall River is not a large city, but it's big enough for this result to be notable. It's also known for a few other former inhabitants. Oh, and this, which is pretty cool even if you're not into military stuff.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never saw this coming

    Surprise, surprise. He's a Republican.

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