Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Florida Moms Florida Moms

Woman wanted for taking a ride on a Manatee....

Posted by on Oct. 2, 2012 at 4:09 PM
  • 25 Replies

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office released photos of the women "touching and riding a manatee" at 1 p.m. Sunday in the waters just north of the Gulf Pier. Witnesses called authorities and took photos, but by the time deputies arrived, they couldn't find the woman. (Pinellas County Sheriff's Office) Related Gallery of the strange Bizarre animal news featuring Tiny Dancer, Thumbelina World record events around Central Florida Topics Pinellas County (Florida) Ads by Google InnoTab 2 Toy Sale Free Shipping On Orders Over $50 Limited Time Only - Don't Wait VTechkids.com {On C-Span} Debate coverage, clips, social media w/C-Span’s Debate Hub. www.c-span.org/debates By Kevin P. Connolly, Orlando Sentinel 1:25 p.m. EDT, October 2, 2012 A woman spotted riding a manatee near Fort DeSoto Park in Pinellas County last weekend is wanted by deputies. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office released photos of the women "touching and riding a manatee" at 1 p.m. Sunday in the waters just north of the Gulf Pier. Witnesses called authorities and took photos, but by the time deputies arrived, they couldn't find the woman. The woman violated The Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, which makes it illegal to "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." A violation of this law is a second-degree misdemeanor.

by on Oct. 2, 2012 at 4:09 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Oct. 2, 2012 at 4:10 PM
2 moms liked this
What a jack wagon. :-(
MomToovey
by Marianne on Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:43 PM
1 mom liked this

 While I admit I would LOVE to ride/play with a manatee, I'm smart enough not ever to do it!

MamaBear2cubs
by Nikki on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:01 AM

A woman sought by Pinellas sheriff's deputies for riding a manatee at Fort DeSoto Park during the weekend has turned herself in.

Deputies say Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, 52, admitted to the offense, telling deputies she is new to the area and did not realize it was against the law to touch or harass manatees.

According to deputies, Gutierrez violated the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, which states "It is 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."

The violation is a second degree misdemeanor.

A photographer happened to see the incident and caught the images on his camera.

"W‪ell, you're thinking yeah these could be useful to someone. It was astonishing that she was actually doing it. I couldn't believe that someone would be doing that," said Steve Leach.‬

Officials said they do not believe any manatees were injured when the woman was touching and climbing on the animals in the waters just north of the Gulf Pier on Sunday, just after 1 p.m.

"She was like chasing them and jumping on them and sitting on them and holding them under. And they are flapping and trying to get away from this woman," said Lynn Parrish, who called park rangers to report the incident. "Everybody was screaming at her to stop. You know, if she would have just left well enough alone then I wouldn't have called."

The Sheriff's Office was contacted a short time later.

"I think it's serious," said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. "I think it's egregious when somebody would for their own pleasure abuse an animal. Manatees aren't meant to be ridden."

The woman was gone by the time deputies arrived but witnesses were able to give a description of the woman, which included photographs of her in the water with the manatees.

Sheriff Gualtieri said they get quite a few calls about this sort of thing but chose to get this story out because they actually have photos. Most of the time they get calls like this one there is no evidence.  Authorities also wanted this to serve as a reminder to leave the manatees alone.

Deputies explained to Gutierrez that charges would be forwarded to the State Attorney's Office for prosecution. Due to the nature of the crime deputies say this was not an arrestable offense because it did not occur in the deputy's presence.

Look, but don’t touch the manatees

MamaJessx3
by Jess on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:03 AM
1 mom liked this
That was all over fb yesterday. Everyone was making comments like "all I see is two manatees"
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
MamaBear2cubs
by Nikki on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:19 AM

That's pretty awful

Quoting MamaJessx3:

That was all over fb yesterday. Everyone was making comments like "all I see is two manatees"


WendyJR
by Wendy on Oct. 3, 2012 at 9:39 AM
I saw this on the news. People are nuts.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
jassysmama
by Alex on Oct. 3, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Glad people were smart enough to take pics
momofsixangels
by Colleen on Oct. 3, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Crazy!

masonsmommy921
by Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 3:04 PM
1 mom liked this
Poor manatee!! I'd love to touch one but couldn't imagine laying all over and holding them under water.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Dinimon
by Diana on Oct. 3, 2012 at 3:38 PM
That lady is batshit crazy!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN