Miami Beach man arrested for sitting on turtle nesting area – NBC 6 South Florida
A Miami Beach man has been arrested after police say he chose an illegal place to sit on the beach to watch the July 4 fireworks: a protected turtle nesting area.
The man, identified by police as 33-year-old Brandon Bowen, was seen on video arguing verbally with bathers after finding him sitting above the turtle nesting area.
When first encountered by police, Bowen denied any wrongdoing, saying he was simply sitting in the sand, according to an arrest report.
However, Miami Beach police interviewed a witness who had video of the incident showing Bowen sitting on the nest with a towel above the protected area.
After watching the video, which showed Bowen yelling profanity at bathers who told him to leave the nest area, police confronted Bowen and arrested him, according to the report.
Police said the area Bowen was sitting in is marked with a turtle nest warning sign. There are also signs in English and Spanish that say “Do Not Disturb Sea Turtle Nest”.
Sea turtles are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Florida Sea Turtle Protection Act, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Florida laws restrict the taking, possession, disturbance, mutilation, destruction, sale, transfer, molestation, and harassment of sea turtles, nests, or eggs.
Bowen was charged with assaulting or harassing sea turtle eggs and was jailed. Attorney information was not available.