CRIME

Woman Accused Of Riding Sea Turtle Arrested In Florida

A Facebook photo appears to show her and another woman harassing the protected species.
Stephanie Moore, left, was one of two suspects accused of riding a sea turtle in July after this photo appeared on Faceb
Stephanie Moore, left, was one of two suspects accused of riding a sea turtle in July after this photo appeared on Facebook.

Sea you in jail.

One of two women accused of brazenly riding a sea turtle in July was arrested Saturday in Melbourne, Florida, police said.

Police apprehended Stephanie Moore, 20, when they responded to a disturbance and realized there was a felony warrant out for her arrest. She was charged with molestation of a marine turtle. 

Facebook photos of Moore and another unidentified woman, who both appeared to be riding a sea turtle in Melbourne Beach, went viral earlier this year. Sea turtles are a protected species under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 and Florida's Marine Turtle Protection Act.

The animals struggle with their own weight when they come ashore to lay eggs, Bay News 9 reported in July. Sitting on a turtle can damage its ribs or sternum.

Stephanie Moore is charged with molestation of a marine turtle, which is a protected species.
Stephanie Moore is charged with molestation of a marine turtle, which is a protected species.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission opened a criminal investigation of the pair soon after the Facebook photos appeared.

Police arrested Moore and took her to Brevard County Jail, where she was held on a $2,000 bond, they said. It's unclear whether the other suspect was caught or charged.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission didn't immediately return The Huffington Post's calls for comment.

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