Authorities in Florida are looking into reports that a disruptive visitor became vulgar with a monument at St. Pete Beach, a popular destination for Gulf Coast vacationers.
Authorities in Pinellas County said that the incident occurred on Friday, December 8, on St. Pete Beach, approximately 30 miles to the southwest of Tampa. The victim was a manatee statue serving as the mascot at Rick’s Reef Restaurant.
A report shows that after a pursuit, the police apprehended the culprit, who was walking intoxicated with dilated pupils. He kept asking the police officers why he was being arrested.
According to an affidavit written by a deputy, the defendant was throwing gator nuggets throughout Rick’s Reef, a casual dining establishment. The defendant became aggressive when customers and employees questioned his behavior. He then began to molest the manatee statue physically.
The suspect allegedly ran away and wandered around a quarter of a mile away until he reached the Postcard Inn On The Beach, where he inexplicably started cursing and swearing at the receptionist.
According to the Subject Charge Report from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the individual in question is identified as Anthony Michael Lessa, a 23-year-old Caucasian male from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who has brown eyes and black hair. Documents say he had been drunk and had caused disruptions at the eatery and an adjacent hotel.
He was charged with a misdemeanor and released on December 9th.
Manatees are big aquatic creatures that are native to Florida, according to the state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission. Adult manatees may reach a weight of over 3,500 pounds and a length of 9 to 10 feet (from nose to tail). However, they can reach lengths of over 13 feet and weights of over 1,000 pounds.
The manatee’s two front flippers serve as both a steering mechanism and a grip for the plants it consumes. It swims with the help of a big, flattened, paddle-shaped tail.
Where can you find real manatees? Right here.
But don’t tell Anthony Michael Lessa.