Guy Brings Crack to Pal in ICU, Fire Ensues
Cops also charge Lee Vern Cook with gun possession
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2014 11:04 AM CST
Lee Vern Cook   (Crestview Police Department)

(Newser) – If you're stuck in the ICU on Christmas Eve, it's good to have friends to help you liven the joint up and Lee Vern Cook is apparently the best of these sorts of friends: The 54-year-old stands charged with a bevy of offenses after police say he brought crack for an unnamed friend at the North Okaloosa Medical Center, in, yes, Florida. As the Northwest Florida Daily News tells it, the patient, who was on oxygen, lit up a "homemade smoking device"—and his sheets, gown, and oxygen mask right along with it. The fine people of the Crestview Fire Department quickly put out the fire and the ICU wasn't evacuated. "The potential was there for a lot of damage," says a Crestview police rep. "It could have been a lot worse."

Except it did get a little worse: The patient ended up in the burn unit, presumably without his crack pipe. And upon questioning Cook admitted to police that he brought more than the crack, eventually showing officers the gun he'd hidden in the bathroom when the fire broke out. So, in addition to possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, Cook is also charged with arson, five counts of possession of a controlled substance, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Police haven't ruled out further charges. Can't get enough of Floridians doing dumb things? Here. Or here are the five zaniest crimes of 2014.