SARASOTA, Fla -- A Sarasota man says ever since images of a shark dragged by a speeding boat surfaced, life for a Sarasota CPA has been “hurtful, a nightmare actually.”
Last week, this accountant started receiving threatening phone calls.
“If I were you take your whole family, I would get out of town. People looking for you, they want your head … you have money on your head,” says one caller.
Another caller, a woman, says, “I’m so disgusted by the whole thing … What a piece of s--- your son is!”
The accountant says at first he didn't even know what the calls were about.
The calls were filled with profanity and more threats were left -- nearly 40 voicemails in total.
Another call: “You know what’s great about international waters ... I can sink your f---- boat!”
After some digging, the 64-year-old businessman realized he has the same name as the father of one of the men identified by social media as one of the boaters seen in the dragging video.
We won’t use the name because FWC has not released their identities.
What does this Sarasota businessman have to say to the people who left the messages?
"It’s ranting and raving in a very evil, hateful, potentially violent and dangerous way … (It can) cause great harm to who are truly innocent victims in this.”
Does he believe he is a victim?
“I’m absolutely a victim, no question about it. An innocent victim who had nothing to do with it, drawn in the middle of it.”
The Sarasota accountant says he’s built his 20-year-old accounting business the old-fashioned way: through good referrals. He doesn’t even have a website.
“I didn’t understand the impact of social media and how false information can be spread about an individual.”
It took help from Sarasota Police this week to have a Facebook page taken down, along with some postings but he says there’s more out there.
“I haven’t been able to do work the last 10 days,” he says.
Every day is spent trying to clear his name.
He has a request to social media users.
“Post positive comments I’m not involved. That would be most helpful.”
►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10 News app now.