Motorists who slightly speed through certain school zones on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway during the holidays might just get an onion from the Grinch instead of a traffic citation.
Major Lou Caputo, of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, dons the Grinch costume and often wields a radar speed gun accompanied by other deputies. He says he portrays the fictional character created by children's author Dr. Seuss to give motorists a break, but also to highlight the need to obey speed limits in school zones.
Motorists who travel about 5 mph or less above the school zone speed limit are entitled to choose between traffic citations and onions presented by the Grinch.
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The catch? Caputo pokes holes in the onions and lets them sit for about a month.
"They take it back with them. It stinks up the car a little bit," he said. "Sometimes I think they wish they had the citation!"
Those speeding beyond 5 mph above the speed limit that get a ticket.
"The Grinch is a lovable creature, so I thought this would be a great thing to do," Caputo said. "To do it in a school zone, so that people will see you."
Caputo, 63, also wears the costume to pre-school and elementary functions.