3 Florida men charged in shark dragging video incident
Florida wildlife officials and prosecutors have charged three men (left to right) Spencer Heintz, Michael Wenzel, and Robert Lee Benec, of Palmetto connected to a video of a shark being dragged behind a speeding boat. Wenzel is charged with two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty. (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office via AP)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, December 13, 2017 1:25PM EST
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida wildlife officials and prosecutors have charged three men connected to a video of a shark being dragged behind a speeding boat.
A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission news release says 21-year-old Michael Wenzel and 23-year-old Spencer Heintz of Palmetto, along with 28-year-old Robert Lee Benac of Bradenton, each face two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty. Wenzel and Benac also face a misdemeanour count of illegal method of taking a shark.
The video of the shark being dragged went viral in late July after a Miami sport fisherman criticized it on social media.
FWC Chairman Bo Rivard said in a statement that he hopes the charges send a clear message that this kind of behaviour won't be tolerated.
Prosecutors in Hillsborough County are handling the case. Jail records didn't list attorneys for the men.