Florida woman arrested for riding an endangered manatee - CBS46 News

Florida woman arrested for riding an endangered manatee

Posted: Updated:

Pinellas County deputies arrested a woman who was wanted for violation of The Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act.

Police arrested Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez for riding the endangered mammal.

The Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, makes it illegal "for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner intentionally or negligently annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any manatee."

Witnesses told deputies that she was seen touching and riding a manatee at Fort Desoto Park.

In September, police released a photo of Garcia Gutierrez riding the manatee. They were hoping the public could help identify her.

She was arrested on Nov. 24 at the Sears in Saint Petersburg, where she works.

On Oct. 2, Garcia Gutierrez called the Sheriff's Office Communications Center to turn herself in.

Gutierrez admitted to the offense claiming she is new to the area and did not realize it was against the law to touch or harass manatees.

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.