Of course this happened in Florida.
A google search for the words “Florida Man” will tell you things happen so often in Florida that there is literally a meme about it.
Here’s just a few “Florida Man” gems.
this headline is beautiful https://t.co/HQtw4Mmdwu— Calvin (@calvinstowell) March 1, 2019
Florida Man Hall of Fame pic.twitter.com/Tq23gwwjpE— Scott Carasik (@CarasikS) February 26, 2019
A video, shared on Facebook thousands of times in 2017, showed a man who caught a shark on some kind of line, driving top speed through the water and dragging the shark, flailing and trying to get away, through the rough waters just mere feet away from the motor.
Here is the video.
Be warned, it is disturbing.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission launched an investigation upon catching wind of the video. They announced:
“We have been alerted to this video.”
“We take this very seriously and are currently investigating this incident. We are also attempting to identify the individuals in the video and where it took place.”
The man dragging the shark was eventually identified, along with accomplices.
But in the continuing theme of “there is no justice in law,” they received extremely light slaps on the wrist for their act of animal cruelty.
BREAKING- GUILTY PLEA - SHARK DRAGGING CASE— Corey Davis (@WFLACorey) February 28, 2019
-Michael Wenzel, one of the guys accused of dragging a shark behind a boat agreed to a guilty plea.
-Robert Benac, is rejecting the state's offer of 10 days in jail + reduced charge & will go to trial. #TampaBayhttps://t.co/3Mb1hQZuj4 pic.twitter.com/gDwXjwBQfS
Boat captain in shark-dragging case gets 10 days jail for animal cruelty https://t.co/A7TPektSP5 /Sickening 😡😡😡— Chinanan Khurasee (@KhuraseeK) March 1, 2019
Michael Wenzel pleaded guilty in the shark-dragging case in exchange for 10 days in jail and a probation sentence, sparking outrage. https://t.co/PRzhX0jSN9— tbt* (@tbtnewspaper) March 1, 2019
Michael Wenzel of Palmetto, Florida, the captain of the boat, and two accomplices, Robert Lee Benac of Bradenton and Spencer Heintz also of Palmetto were charged with animal cruelty.
Wenzel pleaded guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence:
10 days in jail and 11 months probation.
ELECTRIC CHAIR— John 🦑 (@johnwdconnell) March 1, 2019
bragged about this sick offence on FB did he??!!— norm lor (@normanlor) March 1, 2019
Don't let this slug go anywhere near an animal shelter.— Breakfast-Taters (@BreakfastTaters) February 28, 2019
waterboard this bastard.— Thomas (@Wardminny10) February 28, 2019
Pathetic......— Compassion 4 Animals (@AmyRoseKathryn) February 28, 2019
Boat captain in shark-dragging case gets 10 days jail for animal cruelty https://t.co/uHAxOgoFV8
10 Days...wow. "Never do it again, please" ,sort of. The law is a silly joke.— zed sunbury (@tkeriksson) February 28, 2019
I wish he had gotten 10 years.— Jeramie Rain (@jeramiedreyfuss) February 28, 2019
“This is a privileged kid,” said Marie Galbraith, a member of Florida Voices for Animals, to the Tampa Bay Times.
“This is a slap on the wrist.”
According to reports:
“Wenzel, 22, stood tall in a loud-blue suit and a crisp, white dress shirt as Hillsborough Circuit Judge Mark Wolfe asked a series of standard questions about whether he understood his plea. The judge noticed him smiling after a question about whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”
Judge Wolfe asked:
“Is there something funny about this?”
This situation is making people sick.
That is outrageous!— Erich Schultz Photography (@Seekingzen09) March 1, 2019
Should be 10 years— karen lyonskalmenson (@klyonskalmenson) March 1, 2019
Shameful!— Donald D. Davis (@donaldddavis) March 1, 2019
10 days are not enough. Animal abusers get away too easy.— PAT (@AshtrayPat) March 1, 2019
Humans are a joke. This world would never be a better place as long as humans kill and destroy everything around us. Yep, that's human race for ya. Intelligence combined with cruel and evil.— Karma for Animals (@Karma4_Animals) March 1, 2019
Does anyone else want to smack that smirk off his face?— D. Canzoneri 🇺🇸🐾 (@wire2wire) March 1, 2019
One of the accomplices, Robert Benac, rejected a similar plea deal and will now head into a criminal trial in June.
Here’s hoping for justice in that case.