Green Guide

Man charged with riding manatees in Florida Keys

Posted 5:08 p.m. Thursday

— Authorities say a Florida Keys man has been arrested for riding and harassing manatees in Islamorada.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report say 47-year-old James Massengale Jr. was arrested Friday after witnesses saw him touching two adult manatees and their calves around Islamorada Library Beach. The report says Massengale — a homeless, self-described student preacher in Key Largo — told witnesses he was riding the animals.

Massengale was arrested and charged with molesting a manatee after saying he would not report to court and asked to go to jail. He was being held at Monroe County jail on $25,000 bail.

Jail records didn't list an attorney for Massengale.

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