Sunday, November 25, 2012

This Week in Police Drama

You can hug trees, but not manatees.

Reuters reports:
A Florida woman photographed two months ago riding an endangered manatee in violation of state law was arrested on Saturday on misdemeanor charges, authorities said.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's office said deputies arrested Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, 53, without incident at her job at a Sears store in St. Petersburg on a warrant for violating the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act.

The state makes it illegal to "annoy, molest, harass or disturb" the endangered aquatic mammals, whose survival is imperiled by manmade threats, including boating collisions. Violations are considered a second-degree misdemeanor.

The arrest stemmed from reports on September 30 that an unidentified woman had been seen touching and riding a manatee - which can grow up to 12 feet in length and weigh up to 1,800 pounds (818 kilograms) - at Fort Desoto Park, a few miles from downtown St. Petersburg.

Following media coverage of her cavorting with the mammal, Garcia Gutierrez called the sheriff's office two days later to turn herself in.

She admitted the offense claiming "she is new to the area and did not realize it was against the law to touch or harass manatees," the office said in a news release.

But, I guess, it is legal for them to can hug you.


  1. Now I'm guessing that if the lady was capable of "cavorting", then she wasn't morbidly obese. So, let's assume she weighs in at 150 lbs.
    Manatee = 1800 lbs.
    Lady = 150 lbs.
    Do think the manatee even NOTICED her??
    Better not pet your dog; someone may be watching.

  2. Who knows, maybe the manatee liked the attention. If so, then would not be guilty of the "annoy, molest, harass or disturb" statute. I think she should get off with a warning.

  3. I wish **I** had been protected by a "do not annoy, molest, harass, or disturb" statute when I was younger. Maybe then the L.A. cops wouldn't have shaken me down every night for being a pedestrian. BTW, check out the great short story by Ray Bradbury concerning that. Fellow victim.

  4. I remember that story. It was called, simply, "The Predestrian."

    They have a place where you can "cavort" with manatees for a fee under supervision. Who would have guessed that it was illegal everywhere else?

  5. Another one of the millions of animals that will go extinct anyway despite our best "efforts," i.e., radical controls.

    I love George Carlin on this subject.