Florida Woman Faces 60 Days in Jail After Trying to ‘Ride’ Wild Manatee
Have you ever tried to pet a wild animal? It’s probably not the safest thing to do, but it could also land you in jail with a hefty fine, it seems.
A 53-year-old Florida woman was arrested at the Sears where she works on Saturday after being photographed in late September playing with– and seemingly trying to “ride”– a wild manatee.
The Tampa Bay Times has the wild background to the story:
A bystander got photographs of a woman perched atop a manatee on Sept. 30, and the case gained attention after law-enforcement officials launched a public campaign several days later to identify her.
Shortly after Sheriff Bob Gualtieri’s Oct. 2 press conference to decry the alleged abuse of the animal, Gutierrez phoned the agency and admitted touching the manatee. She later told sheriff’s deputies she didn’t know that doing so was illegal.
The case was referred to the Pasco-Pinellas State Attorney’s Office, which issued the misdemeanor arrest warrant.
Under the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, sea cow molestation is a second-degree misdemeanor, an offense punishable by a $500 fine or up to 60 days in jail. [Emphasis added]
Yes, there is a “Manatee Sanctuary Act” that, according to NBC News, makes it “unlawful for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner intentionally or negligently to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any manatee.”
Less clear is how authorities determine if– by your negligence– you have annoyed a manatee.
Authorities added that the manatee was not physically hurt, but that the “psychological impact” of the encounter would be harder to evaluate, the Tampa Bay Times relates.
During a press conference Sheriff Gualtieri told Gutierrez to “go ride a jet ski.” She has been released from jail on a $1,500 bail.
Here is video of the authorities requesting the public’s help to find Gutierrez in early October, via ABC:
Benghazi, IRS, AP...What's next? Only TheBlaze TV offers the truth from Glenn Beck, Andrew Wilkow, and Real News from TheBlaze. Get instant access and a free trial here.
- Shock Video Surfaces: Meat Cleaver-Wielding Man Shouts ‘You People Will Never Be Safe!’ Moments After Gruesome London Attack 527 Comments
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 466 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 453 Comments
- The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You’ve Been Waiting for…and It Doesn’t Disappoint 337 Comments
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Has Awkward Moment With Okla. Tornado Survivor After Asking If She ‘Thanked the Lord’ 324 Comments
- Michelle Malkin Rips Progressives, Clashes With Lib Radio Host Over Terrorism, London Machete Attack: ‘A Hand-Maiden of Islamic Terrorism’ Read More
- Ariz. Lawmaker Surprises Colleagues, Comes Out as an Atheist While Delivering Daily Prayer Read More
- This Is How Texas Politicians Are Fighting Against the Atheist-Led ‘War on Christmas’ Read More
- ‘Unbelievable’: Apparent Thief Leaves $140 & Apology Note on Family’s Doorstep — Find Out Why Read More
- Anti-Gay Bias or Fair Punishment? New Details Emerge About High School Student’s Lesbian Relationship With a Minor 272 Comments
- Weekly Unemployment Benefits Tumble Read More
- Why Is This German Company Recruiting Tech Staff With Autism? Read More
- House Votes to Speed up Keystone Pipeline: Here’s Everyone Who Voted for and Against It Read More
- Here are the 7 Most Explosive & Informative Moments from Today’s IRS Hearing Read More
- Foreign Banks Operating on U.S. Soil Have Just Set a Record Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 116 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- 5 dead in Lebanon clash of Assad foes, backers
- AP Interview: Rogge praises wrestling's changes
- Restaurant torched in 4th night of Sweden riots
- Man shot by FBI had ties to Boston bombing suspect
- Ralph Lauren's 4Q profit rises 35 pct
- Father of man shot in Boston probe shares regrets
- Russian court denies Pussy Riot's Alekhina parole
- Britain: Soldier slaying suspects had been probed