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Florida man arrested and charged after being caught on video brutally beating a protected shark with a hammer

YouTube Fox 35 Orlando Video Screenshot

A Florida man has been charged with a crime after being caught on video viciously beating a protected shark with a hammer.

On Dec. 20, 2022, a man was caught beating a protected shark at Bicentennial Beach Park in Indian Harbor Beach by a surveillance camera.

The man was fishing at the beach when he reeled in a shark. Video shows the man brutally smashing the shark in the head with a hammer over and over again. He is seen using the claw of the hammer to dig into the shark's gills.

The New York Post reported, "Waddill allegedly continued to hit the shark until he realized people were watching him, one witness said, according to the report."

He drags the lifeless animal across the shore and back into the water, but it doesn't move. The motionless shark is beached, and the man drags the shark by the shark and tosses it deeper into the ocean. The waves push the seemingly dead shark back to the shore. For a third time, the Florida man heaves the shark back into the ocean after the animal returns to the shore because of the waves.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was sent the gruesome video and launched an investigation.

Shark fishing is legal in Florida; however, officials determined that the abused shark was a lemon shark – one of 28 protected sharks in the state of Florida.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission notes that lemon sharks are "prohibited from harvest in Florida state waters."

"However, this species is still taken in federal waters and targeted commercially in the longline fishery mainly for their fins, marketable flesh, and hide," the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission adds. "Does well in captivity, with young individuals being favorite subjects for physiological and behavioral studies. Has been involved in only a few non-fatal bites on humans."

In January, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recommended that authorities press criminal charges against the man.

On Friday, Brian Waddill was arrested by Indian Harbor police officers, according to WOFL. The 33-year-old Florida man was reportedly charged with two misdemeanor charges: failure to return a prohibited species unharmed and a violation against the harvest, landing, or sale of sharks.

Waddill was held on a $500 bond, but was released shortly after his arrest.

(WARNING: Graphic video)

Man facing charges after allegedly hitting shark with hammerwww.youtube.com

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