Florida Man Arrested for Allegedly Riding the Back of a Manatee

Florida Manatee AP

A Florida man was arrested for allegedly attempting to ride the back of a manatee in the Florida Keys, police say.

Police charged 47-year-old James Massengale Jr. with annoying, molesting, harassing, or disturbing a manatee after a witness saw the man “touching and laying” on top of two adult manatees and their calves at Islamorada Library Beach, NBC 6 reported.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Officer Bobby Dube said to NBC 6 that a witness told Massengale it was illegal to ride manatees when Massengale replied, “I’m riding it.”

Massengale was arrested after he became verbally combative with officials, saying he would not show up in court and chanting, “take me to jail.”

Officials say Massengale is homeless because he didn’t have any identification on him when he was arrested.

Massengale is being held at Monroe County Jail on $25,000 bond.


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