Hat store catches fire at Lauderhill shopping plaza

A hat store caught fire Monday morning at a shopping plaza in Lauderhill, authorities said.

The fire was reported inside Mable’s Hats at the Madrid Plaza at 7553 W. Oakland Park Blvd.

Sky 10 was above the scene just after 10:15 a.m. as smoke billowed out of the roof and front door of the business. 

Lauderhill firefighters extinguished the flames.

No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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Woman struck, killed by Tri-Rail train in Fort Lauderdale

A pedestrian was struck and killed Monday morning by a Tri-Rail train, according to the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department.In a tweet Monday morning, the department said the woman was struck south of Sunrise Boulevard at about 7:15 a.m. by a train that wa…

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Man held without bail on charges he took neighbors hostage in Tamarac

Leonard Benitez appeared before a Broward County judge Sunday morning, and is being held without bail, after being charged with holding his neighbors hostage Friday night.

The 45-year-old Tamarac man had gone to the home of Louis and Irene Rosen and asked for a cup of salt – yes, salt.

He then pulled out a gun and knife on his neighbors, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said. Benitez then allegedly  told his neighbors that he wanted $50,000 and ordered them to give him their banking information.

“I’m not a gun person,” Irene Rosen said. “I’ve never been around guns and to sit there and have somebody point a gun.”

Irene Rosen said after several hours she was able to escape, which meant leaving Louis Rosen alone with Benitez.

“That was the only time I was frantic. I was all the way down the block and I was worried about him,” Irene Rosen said.

At some point, Benitez pistol -whipped Louis Rosen, deputies said.

Benitez then fled from the home, but was soon taken into custody by SWAT members. 

He was arrested on charges that include home invasion, battery, false imprisonment of an adult and kidnapping.

Louis Rosen was taken to an area hospital where he was treated.

In court Sunday,Benitez was slient as the judge warned him to stay away from the Rosen family.




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Gator rescued near South Pointe Park

Drew Mandala went for a run near South Pointe Park on Sunday morning when he noticed people looking into the water. 

“I came over and there it was. I couldn’t believe it,” Mandala said.

Mandala was looking at an alligator. 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission personnel and Miami Beach police later rescued the gator, which had gotten lost and was struggling. 

Alligators are typically found in freshwater.

They can tolerate saltwater for brief periods of time, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute

The gator was not injured. 

MBPD and @MyFWC always ready for the job. This 🐊 lost its way and was struggling near the S. Pointe jetty. Safely caught no injuries. pic.twitter.com/PpgzdulhzY

— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) July 23, 2017

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Portion of Hollywood’s Young Circle blocked off due to police activity

A portion of Hollywood’s Young Circle was closed off Sunday morning after a man began throwing objects from a crane positioned next to a high-rise building.

Hollywood police arrived at the building, which is under construction, at about 4 a.m. 

The man has screamed periodically at police and mentioned calling someone named Rachel. 

Police are asking people to avoid the area of Young Circle from Van Buren Street to Tyler Street due to the ongoing incident. 

Further information was not readily available. 


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Naked man on crane throws objects during 10-hour standoff with Hollywood police

A portion of Hollywood’s Young Circle was closed off Sunday after a distraught man got into a 10-hour standoff with police.

Hollywood police said they got a call about noises coming from a closed construction site at about 3 a.m. and when they arrived they found Travis Bernard Bray naked and climbing a 300-foot construction crane. 

During the 10-hour standoff police created a hoist to give the 27-year-old man food, water and clothing, police said. 

At one point, Bray began throwing construction equipment, which ranged from small pieces of plastic to metal, down the crane. He also screamed periodically at police and mentioned calling someone named Rachel. 

Eventually,  police negotiators and SWAT team leaders were able to encourage him to climb down. 

Once back on the ground, Bray was shocked with a stun gun and then arrested on charges of criminal mischief, vandalism and trespassing, police said. He was also taken to an area hospital under the Baker Act for a psychological evaluation. 



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