In July of this year, animal rights activists were outraged to see footage of a group of men — referred to as the “Boating Bros” — abusing a shark while speeding along in a high-speed boat.
As Truth Theory previously reported, Michael Wenzel (25), Robert Lee Benac (28), and Spencer Heintz (23) recorded themselves laughing and smiling as they dragged the shark behind them. One of the men joked that the creature looked “almost dead.” They thought it was funny, whereas the rest of the world certainly did not.
After the video inspired outrage, Florida wildlife authorities investigated the ordeal. They found that the men first shot, then dragged, the shark at a high-speed. This caused its death. As a result of their foolishness, all three men have been charged with animal abuse.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office, all three men were charged with two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty. CNN reports that Benac and Wenzel were also each charged with one count of illegal method of take, which is a misdemeanor.
“Because they first shot the shark, it warranted two separate charges for animal cruelty,” said Robert Klepper, the public information coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement. Each third-degree felony animal cruelty charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
Insult was added to injury when the investigators discovered a second incident which occurred earlier that day. “While searching social media for evidence, investigators discovered a second incident earlier that day, resulting in an additional misdemeanor charge against two of the men,” Klepper said. “An issue like this is very unusual. This was a disturbing and disheartening video.”
Animal rights advocates are celebrating the development, claiming justice has been served. What do you think? Please comment below and share this news!
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