A St. Petersburg woman who was photographed riding on the back of a manatee at Fort Desoto Park in September was arrested Saturday on charges stemming from that incident.
Ana Gloria Garcia-Gutierrez, 53, is facing one count of violating the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, a second-degree misdemeanor charge.
She was arrested just after 9 a.m. at the Sears location at the Tyrone Square Mall where she works. Garcia-Gutierrez was booked into the Pinellas County Jail and released after posting a bond of $1,500.
According to a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office report deputies received reports of a woman observed touching and riding a manatee at Fort Desoto Park on Sunday afternoon, September 30th.
Several pictures were released to the media and Garcia-Gutierrez turned herself in on October 2nd. She admitted the woman in the pictures was her and because she had recently moved to the area did not realize it was against the law to touch or harass the large mammal.
During questioning deputies explained the law to the suspect and informed her that the information obtained about the incident would be turned over to the State Attorney's Office for prosecution.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV 3213 West Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, Florida 33609 Main: (813) 876-1313 Newsroom: (813) 870-9630 Fax: (813) 871-3135