Syringes in the buttocks. Twerking and striptease. A man who shaves his eyebrows.
Strange things happened at the Florida trial. And of course, Miami doesn’t disappoint.
Miami Herald reporter David Ovalle uses his Twitter to follow the unusual sights in Miami’s virtual courtrooms. Now with the Miami-Dade Courthouse reopening on June 28, Zoom court hearings are becoming rarer.
Let’s look back at some of the craziest “Oh Florida” and “Oh, Miami” zoom court moments that happened during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. The nurse in Miami sends an injection in the buttocks
MIAMI ZOOM COURT: We have reached the top of 305. Someone seems to be getting an injection in the butt while appearing in a virtual hearing pic.twitter.com/2bRK3IATQzQ
– David Ovalle (@ DavidOvalle305) April 21, 2021
A nurse waiting for her case to be brought before the judge had her camera on and yes, everyone was watching her squirt a needle in someone’s bum.
This peak attracted national attention and is unlikely to ever be surpassed.
2. Visit to the dentist
We’re not sure what virtual hearings are all about, making people turn on their cameras during a medical procedure, but this person gave everyone a front row seat to brush their teeth.
Of course, it inspired some hilarious comments from dad on the internet:
“Do you swear to tell the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth?”
“You can’t handle the tooth !!”
“Apparently this person” knows the exercise “!”
3. Stripteases, twerking, porn and other zoom court bombings
Zoom bombers are everywhere. They paused online classes and yes, even the Florida courtrooms.
A virtual court hearing in Tampa last year was often interrupted with rap music, film dialogues, and yelling. The judge had to temporarily stop the hearing when pornography took over all of the attendees’ screens. The hearing was for a 17-year-old teenager who hacked into Twitter as part of a cryptocurrency scam to impersonate celebrity accounts including Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian and former President Barack Obama.
A similar pornography incident also occurred in Leon County last year during a hearing on the use of masks. And in Tallahassee, someone bombarded a hearing with a striptease.
“The music starts playing with my name and a male character starts doing a striptease and undressing. I get hectic. It was my first zoom bomb, and it was on the screen with my name, ”Miami-based lawyer Benedict Kuehne told Miami New Times. “I had to apologize to the judge and say, ‘Your Honor, that wasn’t me.'”
South Florida courts have also seen zoom glitches that go well beyond poor audio quality, wifi issues, and kids messing with their parents’ virtual backgrounds.
Some of the sights include barking dogs, a shirtless man appearing behind a witness in a mirror, a woman putting on her eyelashes in a bathroom, and a Miami man with the pseudonym “Big Meat Daddy” holding a sign holding up a phone number and using obscene sentences.
A twerking big butt is also said to have bombed a trial battle against the city of Coral Gables over building a Wawa gas station. Who knows, maybe the Zoom bomber was inspired by the North Miami man who spontaneously started twerking in the middle of Bond Court in 2016?
UPDATE: Miami Zoom Court’s “Bomber” Big Meat Daddy flashed this explicit sign and then left after a prosecutor alerted the judge pic.twitter.com/SmHHWsV79l
– David Ovalle (@ DavidOvalle305) June 26, 2020
4. Man who shaves his eyebrows
One guy was shaving his eyebrows during a Zoom hearing in a Miami criminal court. Judge de la O said something like “this is a first”.
If you have a screenshot, give me a call
– David Ovalle (@ DavidOvalle305) June 7, 2021
Are you sure we don’t live on “The Truman Show”? Some things are best left to the privacy of your home. This sight is one of them.
5. Dogs, goats, pigs
MIAMI ZOOM COURT – A goat kept crowding into an observer’s camera view (This was Judge Stephanie Silver’s outer court in Miami Beach) pic.twitter.com/zb8wtQMOLJ
– David Ovalle (@ DavidOvalle305) February 4, 2021
Miami loves its animals. We have peacocks, iguanas and alligators. We also have chickens and roosters. And sometimes we see camels on the beach, a runaway ostrich in Homestead, and also kangaroos in the Redlands.
So we weren’t surprised that pets turned up in court by surprise. We just didn’t expect it to be goats and pigs.
One of our favorite moments? See Penny the Pig, a rescue owned by attorney Dan Lurvey.
The goat wasn’t the only animal in the Miami Beach Zoom Court today.
Meet Penny the Pig, a rescue operation owned by attorney Dan Lurvey. He says:
“I was afraid the judge would hear her snort, so I had to introduce her. The case has been dismissed so I’m giving her an associate position. ”Pic.twitter.com/HI2HSfeSy8
– David Ovalle (@ DavidOvalle305) February 4, 2021
“I was afraid the judge would hear her snort, so I had to introduce her,” Lurvey said at the time. “The case was dismissed so I’m giving her an associate position.”
What about dogs and cats?
At the time, a Miami Dade inmate who was accidentally released due to a paperwork error showed up for his January virtual hearing with a sleeping Chihuahua on his lap.
6. Wardrobe disruptions
Wardrobe mistakes are tame compared to everything else on this list. And one Broward judge wasn’t happy with what he saw at the start of the pandemic.
A shirtless male lawyer. A lawyer still lying in bed under the covers. Someone wearing a “beach cover” to hide the fact that they were at the pool and in a bathing suit. The judge sent a warning letter to the Weston Bar Association last year reminding attorneys that even if the trials were virtual, they had to be professional.
However, one of the most embarrassing cloakroom zoom faux paus to happen in courtrooms in South Florida was in Miami in November 2020:
A woman in Miami Zoom Court today failed to realize her camera was on and got completely naked before a prosecutor said anything to her and she freaked out and ran away.
– David Ovalle (@ DavidOvalle305) November 25, 2020
One woman did not notice her camera was on and got naked. When a prosecutor said something, she freaked out and ran away.
Lesson of the day: Never move out in front of the camera in court. Nobody wants to see you in your birthday suit.
This is not an “Ugly Naked Guy” episode of Friends.
7. There is cursing – and really bad pick-up times
Curse and pick-up lines are the least crazy thing you’ll see on the dishes, which is why this is the last item on the list.
The curses ranged from a man trying to figure out how the Zoom Court works (“IS ANYONE ON THAT SHIT?!?”) To a Broward public defender’s assistant who told a prosecutor “F-” during a taped Zoom trial. – you ”screams when he thought the microphone was off.
People also seem to think that the courtroom is the perfect place to flirt. In February a man told a Broward judge he thought she was beautiful and was told that “flattery will take you anywhere, but maybe not here.”
Another man tried his luck with a judge in Miami this month, but his pick-up line also failed:
“Damn it, my judge is damn sexy.”
“You need to mute … Thanks for that.”
MIAMI ZOOM COURT: Defendant put himself on Judge Carmen Cabarga’s morning calendar. “Damn it, my judge is damn sexy,” he said.
The judge wasn’t happy. “You need to mute it,” then added, “Thanks for that.”
– David Ovalle (@ DavidOvalle305) June 14, 2021
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It never gets boring in Florida – and Michelle reports as a Real Time / Breaking News reporter for the Miami Herald. She graduated with honors from Florida International University, where she was editor-in-chief of Student Media PantherNOW. She previously worked as a news writer at WSVN Channel 7 and was a 2020-2021 Poynter-Koch Media & Journalism Fellow.