FWC bust man riding a manatee in Florida Keys

ISLAMORADA, Florida. -- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers busted a homeless man riding on a manatee in the waters off Islamorada Library Beach in the Florida Keys.

According to the Florida Keys Keynoter, James Roy Massengale Jr., 47, was verbally combative with FWC Officer Courtney Baumgartner when Massengale denied he was making contact with two adult manatees and their two calves.

Ofc. Baumgartner also witnessed Massengale "reaching for, touching, and lying on top of manatees in the creek," the Keynoterreported. The suspect then changed his story and admitted he talked with the witnesses at the scene about the unlawfulness of riding the protected 

He was going to be given a summons to appear, but Massengale told the officer to take him to jail instead because he would not show up to court. He was placed under arrest by Monroe County Sheriff's Office and transported to Monroe County Jail in Islamorada.

FWC provided photos of the incident to the media, clearly showing Massengale swimming with the manatees.


(© 2016 WTSP)


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