Charges dropped for 1 of 3 men connected to shark video

Author: Associated Press
Published: Updated:
The video shows a group of people driving a boat at a high rate of speed, dragging a shark behind them. At this point, the Florida Wildlife Comission says they’re trying to identify the people in the video and where exactly it took place. (Photo: Facebook/WTSP)

Criminal charges have been dropped for one of three Florida men connected to a video of a shark being dragged behind a speeding boat.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Assistant State Attorney Andrew Hubbard announced in Hillsborough County Circuit Court on Tuesday that two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals against 23-year-old Spencer Heintz would be dropped.

Michael Wenzel and Robert Lee Benac III each still face the two felony counts, along with a misdemeanor count each of illegal method of taking a shark. They have pleaded not guilty.

The video went viral last summer after a Miami sport fisherman criticized it on social media. Investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission determined the dragging took place June 26 in state waters off Egmont Key.

More: Gov. Rick Scott disturbed by video of shark dragging

More: Three suspects face aggravated animal cruelty charges in viral shark-dragging video

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.