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Woman Rides Manatee, Arrested Over A Month Later

Ana Gutierrez

Pinellas County, FL – The woman who rode a manatee has been arrested over a month after the incident took place, according to ABC Action News.

Ana Gloria Gutierrez thought it would be a good idea to hop on the back of a manatee off the coast of Florida for a laugh. Since the 53-year-old woman claimed she was new to the area, she said she was unaware of any laws that prohibited such behavior.

Regardless of her ignorance of the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, Gutierrez was placed under arrest on Saturday for the crime she committed back in September. The charges are now in the hands of the folks at the State’s Attorney’s Office.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the woman was arrested at her job at Sears in St. Petersburg for violating the aforementioned act. She was reportedly taken into police custody without incident.

“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 sanctuary act reads.

In September, the suspect turned herself over to authorities after video surfaced of her riding on the back of a manatee near the Gulf Pier in Fort DeSoto Park. Since she knew she was a wanted woman, Gutierrez decided to make things easy for local police.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who said manatees are “a huge part of our culture here in Florida,” was clearly unhappy with the suspect’s behavior.

“Go ride a Jet Ski. Don’t use animals. She needs to be held accountable for her actions,” he explained.

If she’s found guilty of violating the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, Gutierrez could face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

What do you think should happen to the woman who decided to ride a manatee now that’s been arrested for the crime?

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2 Responses to “Woman Rides Manatee, Arrested Over A Month Later”

  1. Valerie Head

    Sounds fair enough???????? I personally think that being arrested at work in front of her co-workers and holiday shoppers two months AFTER the incident AFTER she came forward and turned herself in was way over doing it. She did not harm the animal… that was obvious in the photos and she said that she was new to the area and didn't know about the law. Why is that so unbelievable to some people?? So many people have blown this out of proportion and rather than putting themselves in her place seem to want to make an example out of this woman and have zero compassion for her. I repeat…..the animal was NOT HARMED. But you and others want to go for the throat. Yeah, let's put this woman who is probably a mother in jail for 60 days, let her spend Christmas in jail even (yeah that would be good) disrupt her life and family, take away their income, make them suffer, make HER SUFFER, emotionally, financially, ANY way possible (have you read the insults that people are posting about her looks? The hate is truly astonishing) and for what? That manatee didn't care and everyone NOW KNOWS NOT TO TOUCH THE MANATEES. The point is already well taken without the unnecessary punishment. How can people have more compassion for an animal that wasn't harmed than for the suffering of a fellow human being?