Three men have been charged in connection with a disturbing video that shows animal abuse — surfaced on the internet in July in which a shark was being dragged behind a fast speeding boat — the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials announced it on Tuesday. Three men charge in connection with shark dragging video incident
In an FWC press release, those three men were named as 28-year-old Robert Lee Benac of Bradenton, 23-year-old Spencer Heintz of Palmetto, and 21-year-old Michael Wenzel of Palmetto as well.
Bo Rivard, the FWC chairman said in a statement, “As we’ve said since this video and other images came to light, these actions have no place in Florida, where we treasure and conserve our natural resources for everyone,” CBS News reported.
The statement continued, “We appreciate the patience and support of the public as our law enforcement investigators worked with the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office to identify a number of serious violations that will be brought to the courts for adjudication. It is our hope these charges will send a clear message to others that this kind of behavior involving our fish and wildlife will not be tolerated.”
According to FWC, the charged in the matter stemmed from a four-month-long investigation into the disturbing video and “other disturbing images on social media involving shocking disregard for Florida’s natural resources.”
Rick Scott, the governor of Florida issued a statement after charges announced, CBS affiliate WJAX-TV reported, “I was outraged by the sickening video of a shark being horribly abused earlier this year. Florida has no tolerance for this mistreatment, and I am proud of the hard work of FWC law enforcement during this investigation to hold these individuals accountable for their horrific actions.”
The investigation involved a research on suspects’ social media activity, multiple interviews, and discussion with multiple subject matter experts on sharks, FWC said.
The disturbing video which sent to shark hunter of South Florida, Mark The Shark Quartiano, is receiving anger comment across South Florida and from all over the world.