03/16/2007

Deputy dressed as leprechaun an unlucky omen on Fla. road

The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — There was no pot of gold behind the dancing roadside leprechaun, only speeding tickets.

Dozens of drivers in the Orlando area found out the hard way Thursday after passing an Orange County sheriff's deputy dressed as a leprechaun and warning drivers to slow down. A laser detector clocked cars above his sign reading "Watch your speed or it will cost you your pot of gold," and several officers on motorcycles chased those who did not heed the advice.

Deputy Richard Lockman said police had been giving out about a ticket a minute since 8 a.m. He was dressed in a green leprechaun outfit with a hat, tight white knickers and a fake red beard.

Lockman did the same thing with a Christmas elf outfit in December. Speeders complained that being stopped by a deputy in costume was entrapment.

"I think that's just ridiculous," Lockman said. "The elf didn't force anybody to speed."

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