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.
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.