A Central Florida man is now facing criminal charges after he was caught on camera bludgeoning a shark with a hammer on Florida’s coast last year.
The attack, which took place in Brevard County at Indian Harbour Beach in December, spurred an investigation and charge recommendations made by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
This week, the state attorney’s office formally filed two second-degree misdemeanors against the 33-year-old attacker, Brian Waddill.
Waddill faces a charge of violating restrictions on possession of a prohibited species and failure to return the animal unharmed, as well as of violating the prohibition against harvesting sharks.
According to the FWC’s report, the shark is believed to be a lemon shark, which is a protected species in Florida. Fishing lemon sharks in state waters is prohibited.
The incident was caught on the Harbour House Oceanfront’s surf cam Dec. 20 and reported by two bystanders, the report says.
The shark was allegedly dragged back into the ocean south of Bicentennial Park, but it’s not known whether the animal survived the attack.
Shark fishing is legal in Florida, but the state has regulations on the type and amount of sharks that can be caught and removed from the ocean. Lemon sharks are one of 28 shark species that are protected in Florida, according to the FWC.
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